1 Monday, 15 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Madam Registrar. And good
6 morning, everybody. Could you kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, all the accused are here.
10 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Meek -- Ms.
11 Nikolic -- oh. Where was he? Ms. Nikolic. Mr. Meek is here.
12 Ms. Nikolic, Ms. Condon. And I don't see Mr. Haynes either, unless he is
13 behind the -- no.
14 Okay. From the Prosecution, it's --
15 And Mr. Lazarevic.
16 From the Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
17 Before we bring this witness in, you will recall that we need to
18 decide a motion that was filed last week by the Prosecution seeking leave
19 to amend the 65 ter list, exhibit list, with two exhibits pertaining to
20 this witness that we are hearing today. This was filed confidentially on
21 9th October. Do we need to go into private session, Mr. Thayer?
22 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
24 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, everybody.
25 Mr. President, I don't believe we do.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking because it's been filed confidentially,
2 that's all. We've only had one response that we are aware of and that's
3 from Madam Fauveau. Does any other Defence team wish to state anything in
4 relation? Okay.
5 So we are seized with this motion, by which the Prosecution is
6 seeking leave to amend the 65 ter list so as to add two exhibits, namely a
7 video footage of the DutchBat withdrawal on the 21st of September 1995 and
8 further a document consisting of an UNPROFOR summary of a meeting held on
9 the 19th September 1995.
10 As I said, we've had one response, namely from the Miletic Defence
11 team. They do not essentially oppose the addition of the two documents to
12 the 65 ter list, but they have requested the Trial Chamber not to take
13 into account the description of the document and its relevance for the
14 case as given by the Prosecution in its motion.
15 Things being what they are, and there being no opposition from any
16 of the Defence teams we are hereby deciding to grant the motion and the
17 Prosecution is therefore being authorised to add to their 65 ter list the
18 two exhibits to which I referred earlier.
19 At the same time, we wish to assure Madam Fauveau, on behalf of
20 General Miletic, that the description given by the parties to exhibits in
21 the 65 ter list is of course not definitive and that significance and
22 weight are given to exhibits not on the basis of how they are described
23 but on the basis of their content in the light of other relevant evidence.
24 I hope that allays your concerns and having disposed of this, I
25 wish to know if there are any preliminaries you would like to raise.
1 Mr. Thayer?
2 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President, thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Any of the Defence teams?
4 Okay. Let's bring -- this witness doesn't enjoy any protective
5 measures, does he?
6 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
9 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What's your present, current rank?
11 THE WITNESS: I've left the army so I'm now a civilian working for
12 the Halo Trust.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay. So thank you for coming over to give
14 testimony in this case. Before you start your testimony our rules require
15 that you make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth.
16 Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
18 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: THOMAS NEASON DIBB.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll do our utmost to conclude your testimony as
23 soon as possible. I don't know if that will be possible today, but if
24 it's not, it's not expected to last beyond tomorrow.
25 Mr. Thayer will go first. He will then be followed
1 cross-examination by the various Defence teams.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
6 Q. Good morning, sir.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Would you please states your name for the record?
9 A. Tom Dibb.
10 Q. And how old are you, sir?
11 A. I'm now 38.
12 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber where you were born and raised?
13 A. I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe.
14 Q. You mentioned a few moments ago the Halo Trust. Can you describe
15 for the Trial Chamber what kind of work you do?
16 A. The Halo Trust is now, I think it's the biggest demining
17 organisation working in nine countries around the world.
18 Q. And how long have you worked with the Halo Trust?
19 A. Pretty much since I left the army, so since 1996.
20 Q. What do you do with the Halo Trust?
21 A. I'm now a senior operations officer in Afghanistan.
22 Q. And how long have you been based in Afghanistan?
23 A. I've been base there had since March this year.
24 Q. Would you please list some of the locations just briefly where
25 you've worked in the course of your work with the Halo Trust?
1 A. Mozambique, Republic of Georgia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Afghanistan,
2 Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and a brief attachment in south Lebanon.
3 Q. And just very briefly, sir, on a day to day level, what do you
4 with the Halo Trust?
5 A. The present job involves managing 2870 Afghan staff spread across
6 from Kabul northwards up to the Amur River so it's coordinating,
7 controlling and finding funding for that project.
8 Q. Okay.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Thayer speak into the microphone,
10 please, thank you.
11 MR. THAYER: Will do. I'm being instructed to speak into the
13 Q. Sir, I'd like to review with you your military history briefly and
14 please correct me if there's anything I've gotten wrong or left out. You
15 joined the British army in 1991, graduated Sandhurst in 1992, the army
16 sent to you its language school where you studied the Serbo-Croat
17 language, and then you were posted as a Lieutenant to Gornji Vakuf from
18 November of 1993 to approximately May of 1994 as an interpreter; is that
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. Now, other than interpret --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down? Thank you.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Other than interpret, sir, did you take on any other
25 responsibilities while you were serving as a liaison -- as an interpreter,
1 forgive me?
2 A. Yes, the -- saying interpreter is probably giving me far too much
3 credit for my language skills. It was a basic colloquial course that we
4 did, and I began attached to a company level liaison team and after a
5 month or so, the man leading that team got sick and didn't return so I
6 took over that liaison role.
7 Q. And did you liaise with one particular side or the other in the
8 course of that work?
9 A. In Gornji Vakuf is split with sort of a Croat-Muslim, it's sort of
10 a split Croat-Muslim village. I did deal with both sides but the way it
11 worked I was predominantly dealing with the Bosnian Muslims. I think
12 there was probably a deliberate policy to have -- I had a counterpart, he
13 did more time on the Croat side, and I think that was deliberate so that
14 the parties we talked to didn't think we would go straight from their
15 headquarters off to the other one and pass on information.
16 Q. Now, you were injured in the spring of 1994 in a land-mine
17 explosion that injured you and a colleague and killed an officer. Where
18 did you go after your injury? Where were you assigned?
19 A. A few days after the injury, I was flown back to the U.K.
20 Thereafter, my battalion deployed to Northern Ireland where I went with
21 them to I think November that year, and then there was a possibility of
22 another job in the former Yugoslavia which I returned to in 1995.
23 Q. And prior to doing that, in January of 1995, you completed a sort
24 of a refresher course in the Serbo-Croat language at the army language
25 school and then were posted to Bosnia; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And as I think as you've mentioned, you left the army sometime at
3 the end of 1995 or formally sometime in early 1996; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And you began working immediately with the Halo Trust after your
6 military service?
7 A. Yes, I began work with Halo in April, so a couple of months ago.
8 Q. When you returned to Bosnia in 1995, what was your position and
9 assignment, sir?
10 A. It was basically I was based out of Bosnia-Herzegovina command in
11 Sarajevo working from General Smith's office. The main role was liaison
12 to the Bosnian Serb side.
13 Q. And when did you begin this assignment, sir?
14 A. Very early April 1995.
15 Q. Physically were you and General Smith co-located?
16 A. Yes. We were -- he obviously had his own private office, but we
17 were in the outer office in the same building, just outside his.
18 Q. And did that building have a particular name? Was it referred to
19 by a particular name?
20 A. The residence.
21 Q. And what was General Smith's formal position or title at that
23 A. He was commander UNPROFOR within Bosnia itself, so within the
24 greater chain, I think General Janvier based out of Zagreb was the senior
25 officer in theatre. General Smith was the senior officer within
2 Q. And directly below General Smith, did he have a Chief of Staff?
3 A. Chief of Staff was Brigadier General Nicolai with Colonel Coiffet
4 as deputy Chief of Staff and Lieutenant Colonel Baxter as the military
6 Q. Would you just briefly describe for the Trial Chamber what your
7 duties as a liaison officer were?
8 A. I think the idea of the post was to create a line of communication
9 from the residency or from Smith's office through to the Bosnian Serb
10 side, particularly their higher command, and it was to have a line of
11 communication that didn't involve formal letters written by the general
12 passed on to General Mladic. Now, some of the work was extremely mundane,
13 setting up meetings, arranging vehicle passes and the like. And
14 communication to the Serb side became considerably more difficult after
15 air strikes in May I think it was.
16 Q. And who were your counterparts on the Serb side and let's start
17 with the -- on the military side?
18 A. On the military side, we would speak to the people in Lukavica
19 barracks and they are the two key players were -- the key player was a guy
20 called Colonel Indic. Under him was someone called Major Brane and there
21 was a lady whose name I've temporarily forgotten, so the general contact
22 there was through Colonel Indic.
23 Q. And how about on the civilian side?
24 A. On the civilian side we would go through Lukavica into Pale and
25 when we did get the opportunity it was generally speaking to a man called
1 Jovan Zamejica who I believe was one of Karadzic's aides.
2 Q. And was there a liaison officer for the Muslim side when were you
3 based in Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes, Captain Bliss arrived slightly after me and covered liaison
5 more with the Bosnian side.
6 Q. And do you recall captain Bliss's first name?
7 A. Emma.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer and Mr. Dibb, if you could kindly slow
9 down a little bit and pause between question and answer. Thank you.
10 MR. THAYER: Will do.
11 Q. Sir, did General Smith have a military assistant during the time
12 you served with him?
13 A. Yes. His military assistant was a Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter.
14 Q. And do you remember Colonel Baxter's first name?
15 A. I believe it's Jim.
16 Q. I'd like to turn your attention now to July of 1995. Did you
17 receive an assignment in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the
18 Srebrenica enclave to go somewhere?
19 A. Yes. In July 1995, the deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Coiffet was
20 sent to Tuzla to I think brief back directly to the HC command what the
21 situation was, what the situation was in Tuzla, and Colonel Coiffet took
22 me along to help him on the interpreting side.
23 Q. Do you recall the date that arrived in Tuzla?
24 A. I'm pretty sure we arrived on Bastille Day which is the 14th of
1 Q. And you've told me yesterday that you're not that great with
2 dates, but how is it that you recall that it was Bastille Day?
3 A. I was obviously with a French colonel who wanted to make something
4 of it that evening.
5 Q. Okay. Now, can you describe, please, for the Trial Chamber, what
6 you saw when you arrived in Tuzla?
7 A. I think two things stick in my mind from that, and again I'll make
8 apologies now for it being 12 years ago and a slightly shaky memory on
9 fine detail, one was complete chaos on the UN side of things, and I think
10 before we went out to see the displaced people from Srebrenica, we first
11 attended what was supposed to be a coordination meeting run by the UN. It
12 was complete chaos. It started before it should have, had to restart at
13 least twice, tempers were frayed, and there was clearly very little
14 coordination and very little happening that appeared constructive at that
16 After that, I think it was after that, we went out to see where
17 the refugees were being received. Again, as you can imagine, people in
18 pitiful condition, completely drained physically and emotionally, packed
19 together very tightly, as far as I recall very little in the way of
20 facilities for them at that early stage. Colonel Coiffet I remember
21 addressed them, stood up on a vehicle, gave a speech, the details of which
22 I don't particularly remember. I talked a little bit to some of the
23 people who had come out, and again I don't remember details of what was
24 said apart from again people were completely drained, there was comment on
25 yes we are here but we don't have our men folk with us. I do remember
1 being struck by the fact that there were only women and I think elderly
2 men, young children, but no sort of teenage and above men.
3 Q. Now, sir, was part of your assignment to find out what happened to
4 the men of military age from Srebrenica?
5 A. Not that I recall. I think it was more to just get an
6 understanding of what the situation was. I can't remember what sort of
7 briefing General Smith was receiving but judging from the fact that there
8 was such chaos on the UN side, I imagine he wasn't getting much coherent
9 and hence Colonel Coiffet had been sent to try and pass back a clearer
11 Q. And with respect to the topic of the fate of the military-age men
12 from Srebrenica, do you recall what your state of knowledge was on that
13 14th of July?
14 A. Not particularly. Certainly, what I can say is that at that stage
15 we had no idea that anything untoward, as far as a massacre in Srebrenica,
16 had occurred. That particular information we only received later.
17 Q. And how long did you spend in Tuzla?
18 A. I would guess two or three days. We arrived on the 14th, one day
19 obviously not the 14th, we drove down to Kladanj where people were being
20 received too. So those are the two places that I recall and thereafter we
21 returned to Sarajevo.
22 Q. And during your time on this assignment did you see any groups of
23 military-aged men arriving?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. Now later on in July, sir, did you receive another assignment to
1 go somewhere?
2 A. Yes. A few days after that, the Chief of Staff, Brigadier General
3 Nicolai, deployed to Srebrenica to witness the Dutch troops leaving the
4 enclave, and I was again asked if I could accompany him on that trip.
5 Q. And as briefly as you can, sir, can you describe what you did and
6 what you saw on that occasion?
7 A. We deployed, I remember shortly before arriving at the town of
8 Bratunac, a couple of guys came sort of charging out of the side of the
9 road and stopped our vehicles. I recognised one of the guys who had
10 stopped us as one of General Mladic's body guards who I had met on
11 previous occasions. I jumped out of the vehicle and spoke to this man,
12 explained who we were and what we were doing. He -- sort of mood changed
13 completely, very cordial, he took me off to the right of the road, and a
14 short distance off the road General Mladic was addressing a group of
15 perhaps 50 of his troops and he said to us, "I just need to finish
16 speaking to my guys. Please can you wait and I'll be with you."
17 Once he had completed briefing his troops, he then did come out
18 and escorted General Nicolai and the party to Bratunac where we sat with
19 him in a room, and I believe we had a breakfast, brunch, with him. I
20 don't particularly remember what we discussed at the time, but I remember
21 Mladic was in very good form, he was full of bonhomie which obviously
22 afterwards struck me as slightly disconcerting that he could be so full of
23 steam and goodwill bearing in mind what we subsequently found out had
24 occurred. Having left -- having finished that meal, we left Bratunac and
25 went down to the bridge where the troops were, the Dutch troops, were
1 leaving. I have a clear recollection of General Mladic standing there and
2 saluting the Dutch vehicles as they left and turned off down the bridge.
3 I think it was after the vehicles had left, Mladic then took us
4 through past the Dutch Battalion headquarters. I recall the road there
5 strewn with debris from where there had clearly been thousands of people
6 camped outside the Dutch Battalion, bits of clothing, bits of blanket,
7 filth everywhere, thoroughly unpleasant. Mladic then walked us through
8 the village. I wouldn't say we went through the entire village. I
9 remember being taken through a graveyard where he pointed out some damage
10 to tombstones and I don't remember whether it was broken stones or stones
11 with bullet scars on them, but there was talk of look what the Muslims
12 have done, there is complete disrespect for our dead. We then were shown
13 through a few of the buildings, and I believe after that we returned to
15 Q. And, sir, a few days after that, did you receive another
16 assignment to go somewhere?
17 A. Yes. Sometime after that, again, I don't remember the date apart
18 from that which is written in the statement, I was woken up in the dead of
19 night and told a small delegation or a small group from the residency
20 would be heading to Zepa to witness, monitor, the evacuation of civilians
21 from that enclave.
22 Q. And when you were woken up and given this assignment, were you
23 told you would be going alone or with anyone?
24 A. I was going to be part of a two-people from the joint commission
25 observers, JCOs were going, and I was to be attached to that team. I
1 can't remember whether I was informed then or found out subsequently that
2 UN civil affairs were also accompanying us to Zepa.
3 Q. And you just used the term "joint commission observers," sir.
4 What is that?
5 A. The JCOs were British Special Forces, soldiers, who were I think
6 deployed across Bosnia. Very much in a liaison role, certainly a lot of
7 the work that they were doing involved fairly similar liaison to what we
8 were doing. Their advantage was I think probably the command felt they
9 could stick them into fairly isolated parts of the country, knowing that
10 they could, one, look after themselves, and, B, had good communications
11 equipment back to headquarters location.
12 Q. Do you recall, sir, the names of these two JCO officers off the
13 top of your head?
14 A. I remember first names, not surnames, I believe it was Robert,
15 captain, and Chris, a staff sergeant.
16 Q. Did I show you a document yesterday that jogged your memory, sir?
17 A. You did, and I think the staff Sergeant might have been Craythorn
18 surname, I don't remember the captain's surname.
19 Q. Okay. If we may have P02575 on e-court, briefly? Sir, you should
20 is shortly have a document in front of you on your computer screen. It
21 will be in English, I hope.
22 A. Yes, it's on.
23 Q. Okay. Now, the date of this document is the 20th of July, and as
24 you can see it refers to the travel to Potocari on the 21st with General
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. There is a reference to a Captain Stevenson and a Sergeant
3 Craythorn, who did not make that trip; is that correct?
4 A. I believe that's correct. I certainly don't recall them being
6 Q. Okay. But what I believe what you told me yesterday was that this
7 triggered your recollection about these guys being with you in Zepa, is
8 that fair to say?
9 A. Yup, I'm pretty sure Craythorn definitely rings a bell, Stevenson,
10 to be honest I'm not sure whether it was Rob Stevenson or Rob somebody
12 Q. Okay. And the Captain Dibb referred there is yourself; is that
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And did this document also jog your recollection as to when the
16 actual date was that you were at the bridge in Bratunac, that being the
17 21st of July?
18 A. It's difficult to say it jogged my memory because I simply at that
19 stage working seven days a week, everything was -- it was pretty hard to
20 remember what day let alone what date. I've no reason to doubt the date
21 shown on the document.
22 Q. Okay. If we could turn to the second page of the English
23 translation. And it's a one-page document in the original. Do you see
24 the signatory there, sir?
25 A. General Miletic.
1 Q. Now, prior to that trip that you took to Bratunac, had you ever
2 heard of a General Miletic?
3 A. To be honest, I'm not sure. It certainly wasn't a name that I
4 would have associated with a particular position.
5 Q. Okay. Did I -- do you recall me showing you a document yesterday
6 about a meeting in September of 1995 attended by General Smith, yourself,
7 General Dragomir Milosevic, and General Miletic in Sarajevo? Do you
8 remember seeing that document?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Now, sir, as you sit here today, do you have any specific
11 recollection at all about that meeting or about General Miletic?
12 A. I remember the meeting occurring, and I believe there was probably
13 another one a couple of days later, discussing compliance with the
14 cease-fire obligations imposed upon the Bosnian Serbs. Beyond that very
15 general recollection of what was at the meeting, I simply don't recall
16 relationships between people and what specifics were talked about.
17 Q. Okay. I think we are done with that document. Thank you.
18 Now, back to this early morning wake-up and this assignment with
19 the two JCOs, what was the assignment, sir?
20 A. We were tasked to go to Zepa with communications equipment and
21 report back to BH command to ensure that they were aware of what was
22 happening on the ground in Zepa. Now, I'm not sure if this is my
23 supposition afterwards or if it was briefing at the time, but I think we
24 were all very clear that the aim of it was to try and ensure that things
25 went differently there from how they had gone in Srebrenica a short while
2 Q. And when you make that reference, sir, to Srebrenica, what do you
3 recall was the information, if any, that you had at that time in July
4 about what had happened in Srebrenica?
5 A. I'm fairly sure by that stage we had information that a massacre
6 of some sort had occurred. I'm not sure if we realised quite the extent
7 of it.
8 Q. And to whom at BH command was your team to report?
9 A. In the communications, the far end of our set was in the JCO
10 office which was literally just across the way from down a flight of steps
11 and into a container opposite General Smith's outer office, so we would
12 have briefed JCOs to Colonel Baxter and from Colonel Baxter back to
13 General Smith.
14 Q. And you referred to learning perhaps subsequently or soon
15 thereafter that you were also to be accompanied by some civil affairs
16 officers. Do you recall how many and do you recall any of their names?
17 A. We had two. It was Ed Joseph and Viktor Bezrouchenko.
18 Q. And other than those two men, was anyone else tasked to go with
19 you to Zepa?
20 A. Yeah. We met up with -- and I can't remember at what stage -- a
21 French colonel, I think his name might have been Jermaine, he was a 6
22 legionnaire, plus his interpreter who was way better at speaking the
23 language than I was. I think we also met up with a Ukrainian captain who
24 was also a liaison officer.
25 Q. And that Ukrainian captain, to your knowledge, sir, was based
2 A. I think he was based out of Tito barracks in Sarajevo.
3 Q. And you referred to a French colonel who may have been a
4 legionnaire. Can you just spell the name, as you recall it, for the
5 record? I don't think it came out.
6 A. I think J-E-R-M-A-I-N-E.
7 Q. Okay. So did you all leave together at the same time or how did
8 that -- how did that departure go, sir?
9 A. Again I'm slightly sketchy on my memory of that. I would guess we
10 did but I can't guarantee it. We certainly ended up together at OP 2 at
11 the top of the hill in Zepa.
12 Q. And would you describe that location just generally and briefly,
14 A. As I recall it, it was sort of a following down a reasonable dirt
15 road through a wooded area. I think it was more sort of fir trees. On
16 the crest of a hill with -- as you went through the location, then the
17 road zigzagged down into the village of Zepa itself. I think there was a
18 bit of barbed wire fencing and a barrier in the location as which would
19 make sense, it being a check-point too.
20 Q. And I want to you describe for the Trial Chamber what you saw when
21 you got there, and let's start with any VRS officers and commanders?
22 A. Again, details sketchy but generals, General Mladic and General
23 Tolimir, I recall both were there at the time. I recall that the ICRC and
24 I think it was from their Pale office were also up at the top of the hill
25 at that stage. We, I think, they were all sort of sitting on a fairly
1 tight S bend on the road where there was a view down into the village. I
2 think that's where we were standing at the time. The ICRC and our group
3 were trying to get permission to go down into the village itself to see
4 what it was happening essentially.
5 Q. You referred to General Tolimir. Had you met him prior to this
7 A. Yes I had.
8 Q. When and in what context?
9 A. Again, part of the liaison role from BH command, we would -- if
10 Smith was trying to have a top level meeting, Mladic was a man he'd try
11 and get to, but often it was slightly easier to get hold of Tolimir, and
12 certainly, if it wasn't going to be General Smith personally present, we
13 had -- we would have a much better chance of seeing General Tolimir.
14 Q. And you just referred to ICRC, and I believe yourself trying to
15 get permission to enter town. From whom were you speaking permission,
17 A. From General Mladic, as the senior officer on site, and I would
18 say at that stage, we were all very much of the opinion that General
19 Mladic was in control of what was happening in Zepa at that particular
21 Q. And what did you do next?
22 A. I managed to speak to Mladic and asked could I go down with the --
23 I can't remember why the JCOs didn't come down with us, but I arranged to
24 go down in the same vehicle as the French colonel and his interpreter, so
25 I went down with them. I believe ICRC and civil affairs came down I think
1 at the same time. They were all certainly there shortly thereafter. I
2 remember them both groups being in the village of Zepa sort of mid-day or
3 maybe early afternoon.
4 Q. And without revealing any identities, if you even remember them,
5 of the ICRC personnel, do you recall how many there were there?
6 A. I think there was just a -- certainly I recall a single woman
7 being there.
8 Q. And what if anything did you see on your way down into town?
9 A. Driving down the road, lots of VRS troops, sort of lining the road
10 in a state of exhaustion which I guess is to be expected having spent a
11 few days fighting. There were, I remember, lots of old money drifting
12 about, slightly peculiar. There was a tank with some empty ammunition
13 next to it on the road facing down into the valley. And as we got down to
14 the bottom of the road, there were two, I recall, slightly new-looking log
15 cabins, for want of a different word, with a barrier of some sort,
16 which -- possibly a chain across the road, I don't remember exactly, and
17 that appeared to be the limit that the VRS troops were being allowed into
18 the village.
19 So once we were passed that particular barrier, there were no more
20 VRS troops in the village itself. We drove through the village, past the
21 main square with a mosque and on to the Ukrainian company headquarters
22 building, which I believe was located at pretty much the end of the
24 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you right there and follow up on a couple
25 of things. On the way into town, other than the tank, did you see any
1 other weaponry or artillery?
2 A. In my statement I say I saw a couple of mortars. I'm afraid I
3 don't actually remember that now. I have no reason to doubt my statement
4 on that but --
5 Q. And you describe that you reached a point where it appeared to you
6 beyond which the VRS soldiers were not allowed. Not allowed by whom, sir?
7 A. I would say not allowed by the VRS themselves, so through senior
8 command ultimately General Mladic, but it's possible that decision was
9 taken at a lower level. I'm simply not sure.
10 Q. And you mentioned a couple of buildings or the main square and the
11 mosque in the centre of town. Can you describe the buildings that you did
12 see, can you describe their condition?
13 A. Again, not a clear memory particularly. I remember the square
14 itself. It was open. It had a water fountain in it which subsequently
15 was of great use in that it was a source of water for the displaced people
16 coming in. The mosque single minaret and some of the houses had signs of
17 shelling on them. Again the -- I don't have a clear distinct memory of
18 individual buildings. It was houses where shell damage was very common
19 across Bosnia at that stage.
20 Q. And could you tell, sir, at that time, whether that evidence of
21 shelling was recent or whether it was older?
22 A. Yeah. It was -- I was fairly confident that it was recent. It's
23 pretty easy to tell, and if something has landed in a field it's easier to
24 tell that the ground has been turned up in the last day or so rather than
25 a month ago.
1 Q. And other than the evidence of fresh shelling on some of the
2 houses, did you actually see evidence of recent shelling on the roads or
3 on the ground, as you just described it?
4 A. Yeah. There were sort of shell craters. I'm fairly sure there
5 was also what looked like a mine crater further up the road, with a
6 disabled vehicle which was obviously of a concern to us driving down the
7 road and into the village thereafter.
8 Q. And you mentioned that you were making your way towards the
9 Ukrainian base in town. What did you do when you got there?
10 A. Made our way to the base, stopped. As I recall there was a group
11 of civilians from the village or the surroundings who were gathered
12 outside. At that stage, it was a dribble of people and perhaps some 50,
13 80 civilians gathered there. There was a civilian doctor with the people.
14 The Bosnian commander, Avdo Palic, was there. I remember a youth who was
15 clearly mentally disturbed. And I think throughout the time, I don't
16 remember seeing any men from teenage up to sort of, I don't know, 50s
17 anyway. I do remember some old men, later on.
18 Q. Do you recall Colonel Palic saying anything at that time?
19 A. Yeah. While we were down there, he gave a formal speech of sorts
20 to us, in which he said, you know, these are the circumstances we find
21 Zepa has fallen, and we hope that we will be treated in a humane manner by
22 which I certainly understood that to mean we don't want the same to happen
23 here as happened to the menfolk in Srebrenica.
24 Q. You referred to a local doctor. First of all, do you remember his
1 A. Yeah. I think it was Dr. Benjamin, or Benjamin.
2 Q. And what was he doing, sir?
3 A. To some extent, he appeared to be the -- for want of a better word
4 again, senior civilian within the -- within the group of people who were
5 there, and the point of contact as it were representing the civilian
7 Q. And what if anything did he appear to actually be doing at that
9 A. In addition to curing the civilian people that we also had some
10 injured men in the village, and fairly obviously as a doctor he was
11 concerned that these guys would get evacuated out -- out of the enclave
12 and get decent medical attention. So that was occupying his attention to
13 some extent and was asking our delegation what we could do to assist with
15 Q. And did you have any contact with the ICRC representative during
16 this time?
17 A. Yeah. I remember being particularly frustrated with the ICRC
18 attitude, and I hasten to say it's an organisation I've in the sense got
19 the highest regard for. This is one of the few occasions where I've -- I
20 have been frustrated with them. We -- it was obvious that the population
21 were going to get shifted out or would move out of Zepa, and discussions
22 amongst ourselves were what we should be doing, there is very little that
23 we can do, but one of the very few things that we could do is list
24 everybody as they get on to the vehicles; and therefore, hopefully we can
25 check that list at the far end to make sure that everyone who got on also
1 got off.
2 I for one was expecting that the ICRC would be involved in that
3 process, but they flatly refused and I'm pretty certain the wording was,
4 you know, we can't do that as we'll be seen to be participating in ethnic
5 cleansing. And it just seemed to me to be avoiding the issue and things
6 were going to happen, there was something we could do to make it better,
7 why not do it?
8 Q. Did you see any VRS officers in town during this time?
9 A. Yeah. General Tolimir himself came down at some stage. I can't
10 remember if he was there from the start or if he came in slightly later.
11 But it was through General Tolimir that we got permission to move out the
12 injured personnel, and I believe they moved in Ukrainian APCs. I've been
13 sort of thinking about why an APC is, and I'm guessing it's because they
14 were men of fighting age, men who had actually participated in the
15 fighting, and therefore we felt they needed a protected vehicle to get
16 them out of the enclave.
17 Q. And do you recall who went with these wounded men?
18 A. I think they were driven out by, as I say Ukrainian vehicles,
19 Ukrainian drivers, but Dr. Benjamin, Benjamin accompanied them out.
20 Q. And where did you go next, sir, after these wounded were moved
22 A. Once they had gone, we then went back up to the top of the hill
23 again, to OP 2.
24 Q. And when you went back up to OP 2, approximately what time of the
25 day was this, just to give us a rough idea?
1 A. I'd hazard a guess at 3.00 in the afternoon but it is a guess.
2 Q. Okay. When you returned to that elevation, were you able to see
3 anything that you recall today down in the valley?
4 A. Yeah. It was apparent at that stage that things were starting to
5 be set on fire, you could -- there is a view out and sort of haystacks and
6 buildings, not within the tight village confines itself but sort of
7 drifting up the flanks of the valley, haystacks and buildings were being
8 set on fire.
9 Q. What kind of buildings, sir?
10 A. I'd say probably residences, but you know some would be farm
11 buildings, some would be buildings that people lived in.
12 Q. And did you return back down into town later that day?
13 A. Yes, we did. And when we went back down, the JCO Land Rover that
14 I had come in with the JCOs accompanied us to the bottom.
15 Q. What did you do when you returned to town?
16 A. I believe that same afternoon, by now probably evening, the first
17 buses and trucks were sent down into the village from the -- where they
18 had been waiting up at the top of the hill, and we managed to load in, I
19 guess, probably 20 vehicles worth of people from the square got into
20 the -- got into the vehicles and left the enclave being taken through to
21 Kladanj. It's -- what I do recall is when we came back down the hill
22 again the number of people within the village had increased significantly.
23 A lot had come in. Whether the earlier evacuation of the wounded had
24 triggered something on the confidence scale, perhaps it had.
25 Q. And what was the age and gender composition of this group of
1 civilians that you saw upon your return to town that afternoon?
2 A. Female on the whole, plus young children.
3 Q. Were there any men?
4 A. There were, some -- definitely some old men, and I remember on --
5 clearly not on this particular day, but on the last day I do remember
6 escorting from his house to the square a particularly old guy who clearly
7 didn't have any real understanding of what was happening apart from that
8 he was being moved out.
9 Q. Now, during this time you were in Zepa among the civilians, did
10 you speak with any of them?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And from speaking with them and observing them, can you describe
13 their emotional state?
14 A. Again, to some extent drained. They wanted to leave Zepa at that
15 stage without question. And a couple of -- a couple of instances, they --
16 towards the -- towards the end of the evacuation, we'll call it that, a --
17 it looked as though the last truck of the day had come but then another
18 vehicle arrived, and there was a mad rush of people to get on to that
19 which was a clear indication people wanted to leave. It's -- I've been
20 thinking about it in the last sort of 24 hours, particularly, again, I'm
21 just trying to think what is -- what was different about -- about this
22 from, since then I've seen Grozny December 1999, I'd been in south Lebanon
23 last year.
24 And I think what strikes me as different between Zepa and those
25 two is that in the first two the people, war always displaces people, and
1 I think they try to leave at what they judge is the last safe moment to
2 get out. Now, in Grozny and south Lebanon, the last safe moment was
3 before the place was actually captures. They were leaving because loads
4 of ordnance was piling into -- piling into their villages or into the
5 town; whereas, here what was different is that the last safe moment to the
6 population appeared to be the moment that the fighting had actually
7 stopped, and the VRS were to some extent poised to enter the village or
8 surrounding the village so they were scared. I've got no doubt of that.
9 Q. Okay. And could you tell from speaking with the civilians,
10 whether they had received any information about what had happened to the
11 military-aged men of Srebrenica?
12 A. Yeah. I'm fairly sure they had.
13 Q. And what types of vehicles were used to move out the civilians
14 when you returned there that day?
15 A. As far as I recall, they were all civilian vehicles and a
16 combination of buses and trucks.
17 Q. And do you know who supplied them and who drove them?
18 A. The vehicles had been arranged by the VRS. I don't remember
19 specifically who the drivers were but my guess is that they would have
20 been civilian drivers.
21 Q. And where did you spend that first night that you had -- after you
22 had arrived in Zepa?
23 A. We spent the first night at the bottom of the hill at the
24 Ukrainian compound.
25 Q. And what did you do the next day, sir?
1 A. The next day was going to be more of the same in that there were
2 more people in the village, and quite a lot more had come in overnight,
3 and the aim was to, together with the Serb command, to evacuate as many
4 civilians as we could from the village. I recall on that day there was a
5 slight panic amongst the people. There was another, I think some more
6 injured people must have been leaving, and as before they were going to
7 move out in armoured personnel carriers. When the population saw the
8 armoured personnel carriers leaving, there was a feeling amongst the
9 civilians that this was actually the UN evacuating the village themselves.
10 So pretty much en masse they sat down on the road and blocked the exit
11 from Zepa so nobody was going anywhere.
12 I spent quite a bit of time myself talking to the people and
13 convincing them that this wasn't the case, that what -- what simply what
14 was happening was that another group of injured were moving, tried to give
15 guarantees that we, the UN, were going to remain in the village. And
16 while that story was being passed out and people gradually trusting us on
17 that we, simultaneously spoke to, I think it was General Mladic again at
18 the top of the hill, and said just to help things along could you send
19 another group of, another packet of vehicles down for us, to show the
20 civilian population this wasn't the last evacuation for them too.
21 Q. Now, other than Dr. Benjamin on the first day, do any other local
22 civilians stand out in your memory during the course of these
24 A. Yes, they do and it's -- I mean, one particularly, I probably
25 should have mentioned earlier, was the guy I called the hodza, who somehow
1 associated with the mosque in Zepa. Youngish guy, clearly in no way a
2 fighting man, but he was assisting with trying to put together lists of
3 people leaving. Also to some extent being someone else we could speak to.
4 He could then speak to the -- speak to the population in the absence of
5 Dr. Benjamin earlier.
6 Q. Now, again, understanding that your recollection of specific dates
7 after 12 years isn't perfect, just can you describe or can you recall for
8 the Court approximately how many days these transportations took?
9 A. Yeah. And again, as I mentioned to you yesterday, I had a bit of
10 a problem even shortly afterwards trying to fit all the days into each
11 other. But I think we got the first group out on the very first day that
12 we arrived. I then think there were two full days of evacuations when the
13 great majority of people left. At the end of that, there were still a
14 group of about 400 people left who hadn't been moved. So they had to be
15 moved out again as a fourth packet on what in my mind is the fourth day.
16 Q. Okay. Now, where did you spend your nights during this process?
17 A. As before, down at the bottom in based out of the Ukrainian camp.
18 The first night we got offered -- the colonel was going to throw somebody
19 out of his bed and offer us that which none of us wanted, so we slept out
20 on the veranda. At some stage either that first night or the next morning
21 we found one of the Ukrainian troops trying to pilfer our Land Rover.
22 Thereafter, one of us -- we took turns, one of us would sleep in the
23 vehicle every night and the other two outside.
24 Q. Okay. This was down in town, though; is that right?
25 A. This was in town, yeah.
1 Q. And can you estimate for the Trial Chamber approximately how many
2 people arrived during the course of the two full days, as you've described
3 them, of transportations, who were eventually moved out on those two days?
4 A. I'd say close to 4.000 people.
5 Q. You described a group of about 400 people that remained on the
6 second full day of the transportations --
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. -- what did you do with respect to those people?
9 A. I think as I mentioned they were pretty nervous, they thought that
10 they had missed the boat essentially and were going to be abandoned in the
11 village. They -- I think fairly reasonable psychological stress on them
12 having seen everyone else leaving, not very sure what was happen, so they
13 were in a -- slightly panicky, so we said listen, what we'll do is we'll
14 put you all in a garden around the mosque, and we greed to deploy some
15 French troops around them. And my recollection of that is that it was, it
16 was not because we thought anything was going to happen to them, it was
17 purely to reassure them that they hadn't been abandoned.
18 Q. And you referred to some French troops. Who were they, sir?
19 A. I think it was probably a company strength had come down under
20 command of a French engineer colonel, and I'm trying again to think what
21 triggered the sending of them. I certainly recall that I and the two JCOs
22 were pretty unimpressed with the Ukrainian setup. They -- beautiful
23 valley which probably had been pretty sleepy for the last couple of years,
24 but clearly it had fallen into disrepair, sandbag walls were collapsed,
25 troops didn't appear to have a full complement of boots. There weren't
1 that many weapons. And I don't remember doing it, but I'm certain we must
2 have reported back to BH command to say, listen these guys really aren't
3 up to much down here, and I think that would have been well understood in
4 that -- at command level. I'm pretty sure we all had slightly more faith
5 in NATO forces than other people supporting the UN mission in -- in Bosnia
6 at the time. So the French had been sent just to bolster the security
7 generally in Zepa.
8 Q. And when they did arrive, these -- this French contingent,
9 commanded by this engineer colonel which you described, did you observe
10 any interaction between that colonel and any VRS officers?
11 A. In the course of this day, the Colonel Jermaine who had come in
12 earlier, left, and things were handed over to command of the engineer
13 colonel. It was in a very stark difference in command style between the
14 two men. And I think the, I may be doing the man an injustice, but I
15 would say he was bullied to some extent by the Serbs, certainly didn't
16 stand up to them as Colonel Jermaine sort of appeared to in the early
18 Q. Now, you spoke about General Tolimir arriving in town on the first
19 day that you were there to authorise the movement of the wounded. Did you
20 see him down in town again during the course of these days of the
22 A. Yeah. He was around -- he was around a few times. I know, on --
23 at the end of the first main day of movement, we spoke to him again there
24 was a shall we shan't we send more troops -- send more troops, more
25 vehicles that night, and the decision was no, let's leave it to tomorrow
1 morning. I also remember seeing him on what in my recollection is the
2 fourth -- the fourth morning, the day that we moved out the last 400
4 I recall him sitting with a bottle of alcohol down at the -- at
5 what I described as the new-looking log cabins. So he was definitely down
6 then, I would say slightly under the influence of alcohol that morning.
7 We -- we were again debating the movement of another group of injured men
8 and I'm afraid I don't remember at what stage these guys had arrived in
9 Zepa. And at some stage on that morning, General Tolimir agreed that the
10 guys could leave. Which they did. I note in my earlier statement I said
11 I heard they had been pulled out of the vehicles at Rogatica. I'm afraid
12 I simply don't remember now who told that to me.
13 On that same day, I remember the hodza, who we mentioned earlier,
14 was with the very last lot of people to be leaving Zepa, and I think
15 probably at the top rather than at the bottom, as the vehicles were about
16 to move, General Tolimir identified this guy and said, "Sorry, he is a man
17 of military age. He therefore cannot be evacuated along with the women
18 and children." The UN civil affairs team remonstrated but were overruled
19 on that particular issue. By that stage, I'm fairly certain General Smith
20 had left, and I don't think we contacted higher command on the issue. The
21 hodza was taken away, certainly wasn't allowed to leave.
22 Q. And you just referred to General Smith, sir. During these
23 transportations, did you see him in town at all?
24 A. My recollection is that he never made it beyond OP 2 at the top of
25 the hill and didn't actually come into the village or town itself.
1 Q. And do you know whether he was staying in the area overnight
2 during this period of time?
3 A. No. I'm pretty certain he would have been doing day trips which
4 bearing in mind distances and timings involved would have given him some
5 hours on each occasion at OP 2, but overnighting back in Sarajevo to the
6 best of my recollection.
7 Q. Now, sir, after the civilian population was moved out, what did
8 you see happening in town next?
9 A. On my day 4, we went up to the top of the hill, witnessed the
10 hodza being taken off. We then went back down into town again that night.
11 And it was -- it was clear then last of the civilians had moved and there
12 had been the Serb troops were now allowed into the village itself, and
13 without much delay, it was clear that houses were being looted, furniture,
14 electrical appliances, whatever, were being bundled out, stuck into
15 vehicles and driven up into the hills. Fairly early on I remember houses
16 within the village itself being set alight, and this proceeded pretty much
17 for the duration of the rest of the time that we remained in the Zepa
19 Q. And when you refer to houses being set on fire, sir, who was
20 setting them on fire?
21 A. I didn't actually watch anybody doing it, but it was in a very
22 apparent cause and effect soldiers had moved into town, houses start going
23 up on fire, so in my mind, anyway, I'm crystal clear that it was the VRS
24 soldiers in town.
25 Q. And by this time, sir, to your knowledge, were there any Muslim
1 civilians left in Zepa?
2 A. No. And again, I'm pretty certain there weren't. We'd -- we'd
3 had the hodza with us until the end who clearly knew his parish, shall we
4 call it, pretty well, was talking to people. We'd also spoken to the
5 Ukrainians and asked that they send their vehicles out to reconnoitre some
6 of the outlying houses and hamlets to ensure that no one was left. We
7 ourselves did a certain amount of checking houses within the village which
8 is where we found that one old man I mentioned earlier, but I'm confident
9 that there were Bosnian civilians or Muslim civilians left in Zepa at the
11 Q. Now, back to the -- this looting and the destruction of the
12 property, did anyone in particular appear to be in charge of that, sir?
13 A. On to that first night, not particularly, but as the days went on,
14 there was a -- I think he was a colonel, it maybe a Major Kusic from
15 Rogatica brigade who was very much in evidence throughout, and I think by
16 that stage, Mladic and Tolimir had gone and Kusic very much appeared to be
17 the man in charge, and was up and down himself in his own red vehicle
19 And again if we -- if we go back slightly to the earlier stage
20 where somebody in the command structure had said you guys simply won't
21 enter the village, clearly someone had now said you guys can enter the
22 village, and again in my mind, the VRS were very professional officers,
23 I'm absolutely certain if someone had said you can't do that, it wouldn't
24 have been done. So whether it was an actual order or whether it was just
25 a blind eye, I can't say, but it was happening.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is an objection
3 I'd like to raise. We are speculating. The witness thinks and the
4 witness is supposing.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau. Yes, Mr. Thayer. Do you
6 wish to comments on that?
7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm reluctant to respond in the
8 presence of the witness, but I'll try to be as generic as possible. I
9 think he was referring to his experience observing the army.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me stop you there. I think if we draw the
11 attention of the witness that in the course of his testimony, he needs to
12 concentrate on facts and that you are aware of that you believe did
13 happen, but avoid speculating on anything you're not sure about.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And I think we can continue along those lines. We
16 are in a position to know whether he's speculated or not in any way -- in
17 any case. Yes, Mr. Thayer.
18 JUDGE KWON: But I think the question itself was somewhat
19 confusing. Mr. Dibb, do you think or do you know that whether Mr. Kusic
20 was in charge of the looting and destruction?
21 THE WITNESS: I would say he was the senior officer on the ground.
22 He was participating --
23 JUDGE KWON: My question is whether he's responsible for the --
24 no, no. He was in charge of the looting?
25 THE WITNESS: Again, I don't want to get myself in -- in
1 difficulties on supposition and avoiding the question, but where I'm
2 coming from on this is we are dealing with a military command structure
3 and --
4 JUDGE KWON: So what a you're saying he's in charge of the VRS
6 THE WITNESS: He's in charge of the VRS and participated in the
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kusic participated in the looting?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Did you see it?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Would you describe it, Mr. Kusic participating in the
14 THE WITNESS: Yeah. It was -- I mean a series of vehicles going
15 up and down the hill from OP 2 into the village of Zepa itself, with
16 Mr. Kusic himself going up and down accompanying the vehicles that were
17 coming back up laden with cattle, furniture and whatever else.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Now, sir, had you met this Kusic prior to your time there in Zepa?
21 A. I'd seen him before at Rogatica check-point, yes.
22 Q. And do you know to which brigade he was attached?
23 A. I think he was Rogatica Brigade.
24 Q. And during this time when you saw Kusic during this looting, did
25 you speak to him?
1 A. Yes, I did. And I remember clearly having an argument with him.
2 He was very keen that we, the UN contingent, left, and at some stage I
3 remember him proffering his watch and telling me that General Mladic had
4 personally given him the watch in appreciation for whatever he'd done, and
5 leading on from that conversation was General Mladic says, you guys have
6 to leave, to which I said well, that's very interesting but General Mladic
7 isn't my boss. My boss is General Smith. He was telling me that I have
8 to stay so that's tough luck to you, Mr. Kusic. So it was a -- I actually
9 probably enjoyed the exchange. He -- he was clearly annoyed at our
11 Q. At some point, sir, did this looting and burning appear to stop?
12 A. As I recall, no, it went on throughout. I think they had sort of
13 dealt with what was in the village itself and then started moving on to
14 places slightly further afield, but again, as I say, as I recall now, it
15 was still going on up until the point we left.
16 Q. And at some point did your freedom of movement change?
17 A. Yeah. We had -- as described, we had been based at the bottom of
18 the hill in the village itself and had been able to get about, look into
19 some of the houses to make sure that the population had indeed left. Once
20 we had satisfied ourselves that the population had left, and the VRS were
21 allowed back into the village, at that stage we were then largely
22 restricted to -- sorry, staying in our vehicles and, well not staying in
23 our vehicles, staying around the Ukrainian company headquarters and our
25 Q. Now, while you were there in Zepa, did you become aware at any
1 time that something had happened with respect to Colonel Palic?
2 A. Yeah. At some stage we'd -- we'd seen him up at the top of the
3 hill with, I think it was Colonel Furtula from Gorazde Brigade and at that
4 stage the conversation was definitely heading in the direction of
5 colonel -- sorry, Mr. Palic was not going to be allowed back down into the
6 village. Furtula said in the course of conversation at that stage that no
7 need to worry about him. I've worked with him before. I think in the
8 army. My notes make reference to the TO which I simply have no idea what
9 the TO might have been. But I believe they had been colleagues in the
10 Yugoslav army before, and he said don't yeah, don't worry about him.
11 Q. Had you met this Colonel Furtula before?
12 A. I had been into Zepa -- into sorry, Gorazde before so, yeah, I
13 believe I had met him there.
14 Q. And do you recall there being any protest at any time about the
15 treatment of Colonel Palic?
16 A. Right now, no, I don't.
17 Q. Okay. You referred to the seizure of the hodza. Do you recall
18 precisely to whom you protested about that?
19 A. The protest was to General Tolimir, as he was certainly there, and
20 my recollection is that it was Tolimir who said this guy is of military
21 age and can't leave.
22 Q. Now, sir, you referred a couple of times to the mosque that you
23 saw there in the centre of town. Do you know what happened to it?
24 A. I've never been back to Zepa again so I've -- I don't know for
25 sure. However, I did meet the Ukrainian captain who told me that shortly
1 after our group had left OP 2, the mosque was blown up. I subsequently
2 raised that issue with Colonel Indic in Lukavica. He came back with a
3 flippant reply that yes it was destroyed because from aerial photography
4 it looked like a missile and the implication being that would draw strikes
5 on to their forces in Zepa. Colonel Indic's -- he was never particularly
6 helpful, and that was a sort of fairly typical flippant reply from Indic
7 which I took to mean, why do we actually have to justify what happened?
8 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions at this time.
9 A. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We are due to have a break in four minutes' time in
11 any case, so what I suggest is that we have the break. May I suggest,
12 please, today, to limit our breaks to 20 minutes and then instead of 25,
13 and then at the end we'll finish ten minutes earlier than usual. In other
14 words, instead of finishing at quarter to 2.00, we'll finish at about half
15 past 1.00 or a few minutes after that. All right? Agreed? Okay.
16 So it's 20 minutes from now. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I certainly don't see Mr. Meek now. Yes,
20 Mr. Ostojic?
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, he is working out of the
22 office today and he will be with us tomorrow. Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So I have an estimate, and the Defence team that
24 seems to require most time is the Gvero Defence team. So Mr. Josse, I
25 would suggest if you are in agreement that --
1 MR. JOSSE: I've come to agreement with Madam Fauveau that she
2 will go first. I will go second if that's agreeable to Your Honours.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Certainly. Yes, Madam Fauveau? If you could
4 kindly introduce yourself to the witness?
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
6 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Natacha Fauveau Ivanovic and I am
7 the Defence counsel of General Militic. You mentioned Colonel Indic
8 earlier, can we say that he was your contact person within the army of
9 Republika Srpska?
10 A. Yes, that's fair.
11 Q. And Colonel Indic, was he able to organise meetings with General
13 A. Yes. He would generally be -- he'd be our first point of contact
14 on that one in most cases and obviously it depended on Mladic's timetable,
15 but, yes, Indic could do it.
16 Q. Sir, do you remember making a statement to the OTP in December of
18 A. I'm assuming the OTP is this.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The Office of the Prosecutor, interpreter's
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And where did you -- when you made this statement, you did it to
25 the best of your recollection, I suppose?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Do you recall that you described General Miletic as being the
3 assistant chief of the General Miletic [as interpreted]?
4 A. Yes, I've reread that statement and that's clearly what it says.
5 I think at the time I referred to some handwritten notes which is probably
6 where the date would have come from as well. Beyond that, I have to say I
7 simply don't remember what that relationship was, and, yeah, I'll leave it
8 at that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Thayer?
10 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, my friend may be already on top of
11 this but the transcript is unclear, and the translation I heard I think
12 also leaves some confusion.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, in fact, Mr. President, I
15 wanted to correct line 16 and 17. I wanted to say in fact that General
16 Miletic was described as being the deputy Chief of Staff of General
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau. Are you following,
19 Mr. Dibb?
20 THE WITNESS: Slightly confused but yes, I'm clear that that's
21 what the -- how the statement reads from what I said virtually a year ago.
22 However, what I'm saying is I simply now don't remember who -- whether he
23 was Milosevic's Chief of Staff or Chief of Staff slightly further up the
24 line. I don't remember that at all.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And to clarify, do you agree that General Milosevic was the
3 Sarajevo Corps commander?
4 A. Yeah. I think he was. Yes, I think he was.
5 Q. Is it right that today you have absolutely no recollection that
6 you dealt with General Miletic or that there was a meeting that you had
7 with him while you were in Bosnia?
8 A. No. I do remember -- I remember having the meeting, but I don't
9 remember particularly the details of it or the dynamics of that meeting,
10 who was -- who was taking a lead in it at all. It was -- it was a busy
11 time and that was one of several meetings we had discussing the
12 implementation of the agreements.
13 Q. And those meetings took place in the month of September 1995; is
14 that right?
15 A. To be honest, I couldn't tell you right now whether they did, but
16 I know -- I did look at a written note which, if that's the date that came
17 from that, then, yes. It would also make sense that bearing in mind when
18 these events happened that that was when the meeting did take place.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
20 P2575, please?
21 Q. Sir, you had a chance to look at these documents earlier, but is
22 it right to say that before yesterday you had never seen these documents?
23 A. It's difficult for me to say because it's quite possible we got
24 given this piece of paper as a -- to show to people at a check-point.
25 That wouldn't be unusual. So I may well have seen the document. I
1 certainly wouldn't have remembered detail on a -- whatever you want to
2 call this for getting through a check-point.
3 Q. Is it true that this document is not addressed to the UNPROFOR?
4 A. Looking at the message now, it a -- yes, it says, "To military
5 posts," but again, if I recall how the system worked we would very
6 often -- we would speak through the UNMO office in Pale to request
7 documents such as this, to give passage through check-points. I think it
8 was usual for us to receive a copy of such documents, but, yes, it's being
9 addressed to the check-points to say let these guys move through.
10 Q. Would you agree with me that there was another document addressed
11 to the UNPROFOR, another document that the UNPROFOR had to have on them,
12 the UNPROFOR members who were travelling had to have that document on them
13 in order to show it to the control post?
14 A. It's possible but I simply don't remember.
15 Q. But at any rate, you don't recall seeing this particular document
16 prior to the day of yesterday, when it was shown to you?
17 A. No, I don't. But I'll say again that doesn't mean that I didn't
18 see it. It's just simply I don't recall seeing it.
19 Q. When you left for Zepa in July 1995, the delegation in which you
20 were was carrying a sophisticated communications device, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes. We had a TACSAT with us.
22 Q. And in order to get to Zepa, you had to go through Serb
23 check-points; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And you were able to go through these control points or these
1 check-points carrying that sophisticated device?
2 A. We clearly did, yes.
3 Q. And this sophisticated device was not declared to the Serb
4 authorities, right?
5 A. Probably not, no.
6 Q. But at any rate, you had absolutely no problem to go through Serb
7 check-points. You arrived at one point in Zepa, right?
8 A. Yes. I would -- if we were being pernickety I can't remember if
9 we had absolutely no problem but; however, we obviously did arrive in
10 Zepa. Sorry, looking at the transcript, I'm not saying we did have
11 problems, I'm just saying I can't say we had absolutely in problem.
12 Q. Can you tell me what were the problems that you experienced to get
13 to Zepa?
14 A. That's what I'm saying. I don't -- I don't remember, but I'm not
15 prepared to say we had absolutely no problem. It was pretty standard to
16 have delays at check-points. And whether we call them problems or not, I
17 don't recall if we did or didn't.
18 Q. Is it true that when you arrived at the observation post of the
19 Ukrainian unit, you met with the Red Cross representatives?
20 A. Yes. From my -- personally it was more of an informal yes, they
21 were there, and we talked to them. So yes, we did.
22 Q. And when you arrived there, the Red Cross representatives, they
23 were involved in the evacuation of the population of Zepa, right?
24 A. When we arrived, the -- as I recall, the Red Cross representative
25 was at the top of the hill with us talking to General Mladic and trying to
1 get permission to move down into the village itself. Once there, as I
2 mentioned earlier, she took a very stand-off view to it, saying she didn't
3 want to be involved in what she termed ethnic cleansing, and if my memory
4 serves me correctly, Red Cross had virtually no further part to play in
5 Zepa itself but said they were going to concentrate their efforts in
6 Kladanj and Tuzla.
7 Q. But this was their decision, the Serbs never stopped them from
8 entering villages around Zepa, right?
9 A. On this -- I can't vouch for what their relationship was with the
10 Serbs on any other occasion, but on this case clearly they were let into
11 the village and to the best of my knowledge, it was their decision not to
12 participate further, yes.
13 Q. When you asked General Mladic to allow you to go to the village of
14 Zepa, you got that authorisation, didn't you?
15 A. Yes, we did.
16 Q. And when you went down to the village in Zepa, were you escorted
17 by the Serbs?
18 A. Again, I can't remember specifically. I am pretty certain that we
19 were in the first vehicle down. I remember feeling somewhat anxious about
20 the mine strike that was on the road. So my recollection is that we were
21 in the lead vehicle. I know General Tolimir appeared down in the village
22 some stage shortly afterwards. He may or may not have been part of that
23 initial convoy.
24 Q. But in any case, when you were in the village, so once you were in
25 the village, you were able to move around freely, the Serbs did not stop
1 you from moving in Zepa. You had the freedom of movement, didn't you?
2 A. For the first days, yes, that's correct.
3 Q. When you arrived in Zepa, did you hear that an agreement had been
4 passed between the local population of Zepa and the Serb forces?
5 A. No. I don't recall hearing that prior to yesterday.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
7 6D30, please?
8 Q. Sir, I showed you yesterday, when I met you, this agreement. Is
9 it right that, in fact, prior to yesterday, you had never seen this
11 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.
12 Q. You do know, however, or you did know, that there were some
13 negotiations that went on between the Serbs and the Muslims in Zepa, did
15 A. What I -- what do I remember is, on at least one and possibly two
16 of the occasions when I went back up to check-point 2 at the top, General
17 Smith plus Avdo Palic and the Serbs were discussing the issue of prisoner
18 exchanges, prisoner swaps, and again what I recall, which is -- I wasn't
19 party to the negotiation itself. I was aware they were taking place. My
20 recollection is that one of the hang-ups that was taking place was that
21 the Bosnian Muslim politicians in Sarajevo were saying something different
22 from what Avdo Palic was saying. And I'm straying into supposition. I'm
23 guessing there was issue on who was able to sign what.
24 Q. Do you recall, when you gave your first statement to the OTP of
25 this Tribunal, that was in 1997, and in that statement given to the Office
1 of the Prosecutor on page 3, paragraph 4, you stated that the people were
2 separated and that only women and children arrived in the village while
3 the men remained in the mountain. Do you remember saying this?
4 A. Yep.
5 Q. According to what you knew, the men who remained in the mountains,
6 that was the decision of Muslim men, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can we say that the Serbs would have preferred that these men go
9 down to the village and that they give themselves up?
10 A. I'm simply not sure, simply not sure on that at all. If -- if we
11 are talking about -- and again I'm straying into supposition, do you want
12 me to follow it up or leave it where it is?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
14 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I didn't object at first because I
15 thought maybe there would be some personal basis upon which he could
16 answer the question, but I think it's becoming clear that he feels like he
17 may have to speculate. I think that the question is speculative at this
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. Do you wish to comment on that,
20 Madam Fauveau? Considering that he himself said and again I'm straying
21 into a supposition.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I perfectly agree with the
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So let's move on, please.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Sir, do not speculate. Please. I'm not asking to you do that.
2 Could you please take a look at paragraph 2 of the agreement before you on
3 the screen. Is it right to say that on paragraph 2, one can read the
4 following. [In English] "Avdo Palic shall immediately issue an order to
5 his troops to withdraw from the defence lines and to move together with
6 the civilian population into the centres of populated area villages, they
7 shall not attempt any illegal crossing to the territory of Republika
9 A. That's what it says.
10 Q. [Interpretation] And on paragraph 5 of this agreement, we can read
11 as follows: "[In English] Avdo Palic shall immediately proceed with the
12 disarmament of his units. All weapons from Zepa enclave shall be handed
13 over to the representatives of the BSA in UNPROFOR base in Zepa."
14 A. Yes, I agree that's what it says.
15 Q. [Interpretation] According to what you knew regarding the Muslim
16 unit that was around Zepa, that unit was not disarmed and they did not
17 surrender; is that right?
18 A. Yes, according to the best of my knowledge, yes.
19 Q. And the Serbs allowed the evacuation of the civilian population,
20 didn't they, even if that unit was not disarmed?
21 A. Yes, they did.
22 Q. You've told us earlier that the buildings around Zepa or
23 surrounding Zepa during the evacuation, I'm not talking about what
24 happened after, so the buildings around Zepa, in the hills, were burning,
25 and you yourself did not see who had started the fire to those buildings,
1 did you?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. And, sir, you've told us that you did not know if those were farms
4 or houses, residences. Were you able to see these buildings?
5 A. Yes, yes, we could see buildings.
6 Q. Would you agree to say that Zepa is surrounded by high hills and
7 that you do not have lots of buildings in those high hills?
8 A. Yeah, not lots of buildings, I agree.
9 Q. I would like the witness to be shown document 6D29.
10 You've mentioned earlier or you talked earlier about
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter. Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter, who is mentioned in
12 paragraph 1 in this document, is he the deputy of -- or the assistant of
13 General Smith?
14 A. Can I just quickly read through the document? And I'll come back.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Certainly.
16 THE WITNESS: Yeah, thank you. I've read that and, yes, that
17 Colonel Baxter mentioned here will be General Smith's MA.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
19 Q. The last sentence of the second paragraph states as follows: "[In
20 English] Many houses in the hills were burning apparently torched by
21 departing Bosnians."
22 A. Yeah, seen.
23 Q. [Interpretation] And Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter had absolutely no
24 reason to draft an inexact or untrue report, is that right?
25 A. That's correct, yeah.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown the top
2 of the page, in order to see the date?
3 Q. The date is the 26th of July 1995; is that right?
4 A. 26th July, 1995.
5 Q. You stated earlier that units of the Republika Srpska army had not
6 entered the Zepa village when you went down to the village.
7 A. Yeah, they definitely -- they weren't in it at the time that we
8 were there. I said it's probably impossible for me to say certainly
9 whether they'd been in and been out, but certainly they weren't in it when
10 we arrived.
11 Q. And is it right to say that during the entire evacuation process,
12 you did not see a single Serb soldier in the Zepa village? I'm sorry, I
13 believe that interpretation is not correct.
14 What I wanted to ask the witness is that during the entire
15 evacuation, you did not see a large amount of Serb soldiers in the Zepa
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. During the evacuation of the civilian population from Zepa, the
19 Zepa village was not bombed?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And the civilian population in Zepa waiting to be evacuated was
22 not subject to any firing?
23 A. Certainly the population within the village, no. We did hear
24 small arms fire in the surrounding hills but that wasn't directed at
25 people in the village, as far as I could tell.
1 Q. And in the hills, there were the Muslim men who were part of the
2 Zepa military unit, the Muslim military unit of Zepa; is that correct?
3 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes.
4 Q. In the village of Zepa, you didn't see any active intimidation,
5 did you?
6 A. No, I didn't.
7 Q. You said earlier on that the population was very clearly
8 frightened. Would you agree that in general, in the case of armed
9 conflict, the civilian population is frightened?
10 A. I would certainly agree, yeah, that it's usual to be frightened.
11 I would say that's not necessarily the whole -- the whole story or the
12 whole answer here. I'm not sure if you're going to pursue that or whether
13 I should pursue it.
14 Q. Perhaps you could continue. I'm sure that you agree that the war
15 in Bosnia was a particularly brutal civil war?
16 A. Yeah definitely. It was a brutal civil war, and I think we have
17 to view what happened in Zepa within that wider context. Taking into
18 account it happened pretty much towards the end of it. My recollection is
19 that people were aware of what had happened in Srebrenica shortly before,
20 and that was influencing their thinking.
21 Q. But if we don't talk about the events in Srebrenica, the events in
22 Srebrenica were brutal, and the war was brutal as well?
23 A. Yeah. I accept as, you know, across the whole conflict on, you
24 know, throughout and on all sides, there was an immense brutality and that
25 was well known to the civilian population across the country.
1 Q. And the fear that the civilian population in Zepa felt as regards
2 the events occurring towards the end of the war, following a series of
3 other brutal events on all sides, was something that -- well,
4 unfortunately we can say that it was a natural fear in such a situation?
5 A. It was, but as I mentioned earlier, what was -- what sets it
6 slightly apart but again probably not unusual within the Bosnian context,
7 is that it was fear of what happened once the fighting stopped rather than
8 fear of the fighting itself.
9 Q. Would you agree that the purpose of a war is to take territory?
10 This is in general terms, the usual purpose of a war?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
12 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I don't have any objection to this
13 question per se. I'm -- I would ask what the relevance is going to be to
14 this witness's testimony, especially if we are going to continue along a
15 theoretical line. I mean generally I don't have a problem with engaging
16 in some of these discussions, but I'd like to know where we are going,
17 especially given the time considerations.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Fauveau?
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll move on to another
20 question, but I'm somewhat stupified that the OTP in this line of
21 questioning does not understand the relevance, but I'll leave it at that.
22 I'll say no more in front of the witness.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move on to the next question, then, please.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Is it correct that during the evacuation in Zepa, you saw no act
1 perpetrated by the Serbian armed forces that could lead to an increase in
2 fear among the civilian population?
3 A. I don't think so, while the -- while the body of civilians were
4 still within the village, no.
5 Q. The Serbian forces, in fact, did everything to avoid causing fear
6 among the population. For instance, they didn't enter the village?
7 A. Yes. It was in that early phase, while the people were there, it
8 was well-organised and well-disciplined.
9 Q. According to what you know, they allowed the Red Cross to enter,
10 did they not?
11 A. They did, indeed, yeah.
12 Q. They also allowed for the arrival of additional units from the
13 UNPROFOR, the French units arrived, didn't they?
14 A. They did. I don't remember exactly when, but I'm sure they
15 arrived subsequent to my own arrival.
16 Q. And while you were in the Zepa village, you were able to contact
17 the Muslim civilian population, were you not?
18 A. Yes. We were able to walk freely amongst them and indeed had to.
19 Q. And it was possible for you to reassure them?
20 A. It was, yeah.
21 Q. And the civilian affairs, civil affairs representatives even tried
22 to draw up a list of the people waiting to be evacuated; is that correct?
23 A. Yeah. That was all fairly ad hoc. As I'd said before, I'd
24 initially hoped that, perhaps naively, that it would have been done by the
25 Red Cross. What I do remember very clearly was that I probably spent
1 slightly more time with the people around the buses than the civil affairs
2 lot, and on one of the big -- the big movements, I was actually getting a
3 representative of the population to assist with filling out lists.
4 Q. In any case, there was no Serbian intervention, interference in
5 your work as were you carrying it out in the village of Zepa?
6 A. No, there wasn't.
7 Q. I believe that you've already said that the civilian population in
8 Zepa very clearly wanted to leave; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, they did.
10 Q. And as far as you're concerned, nobody came to see you to say that
11 they wanted to stay?
12 A. The -- in the only one was that old man I mentioned at the end,
13 who again just wasn't entirely clear what was going on around him, and I
14 do remember him sort of running back and saying, well, crikey, I forgot to
15 lock my door and thinking, you know, reality is that's not something
16 you've got to worry about, but I'm fairly sure he didn't particularly want
17 to move, but did.
18 Q. In any case, did you not see anybody being forced to board one of
19 the buses?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. And the international forces themselves asked the Serbs to send
22 more vehicles in order to be able to evacuate everybody?
23 A. Yeah. That was -- I mean that was just part of a coordination
24 function, and that the Serb forces had laid on vehicles and there were
25 people who wanted to get on to those vehicles so, on possibly the third
1 morning, it was one where General Tolimir had said, look, I'll give you
2 guys a shout in the morning with regard to sending vehicles. Nothing
4 You know, the people -- we had no means of providing food to the
5 people in the village at that stage. It was pretty hot. It was pretty
6 miserable so, yeah, we knew that the vehicles were waiting at the top of
7 the hill, and we said we are ready to receive them now.
8 Q. On that day of July of 1995 aside from that evacuation, was there
9 anything else that could have been done for the population in Zepa?
10 A. Again I'm going to be -- we can speculate. There is lots that --
11 there is lots that could have been done. As, you know --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in the area of speculation. Please, let's
13 move to the next question.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Would you agree that in July 1995, evacuation of the civilian
16 population in Zepa was the best solution for that population?
17 A. I think you'd have to ask the -- you'd have to ask the population
18 that. It was an option. It wasn't necessarily the only option. I'm not
19 prepared to say it was the best one.
20 Q. Would you agree that the evacuation was well-organised?
21 A. Yes, it was.
22 Q. It was organised in a civilised fashion, to the extent that this
23 was possible in the middle of the war in Bosnia in July 1995?
24 A. Yes, yeah, it was a difficult time and they, as I recall it, there
25 were more buses than trucks so yes, they did try to make it as civilised
1 as possible.
2 Q. Is it correct to say that once everybody had been evacuated from
3 the village, the Ukrainians went to see whether there were any civilians
4 in the mountains?
5 A. Yeah. I think that probably happened at some stage prior to the
6 departure of the final 400 but, yes, we made efforts before the whole
7 thing closed to make sure that to the best of our knowledge, all the
8 civilians had been found and evacuated.
9 Q. And the Serbs did not prevent the Ukrainians from trying to find
10 the civilians?
11 A. Not that I'm aware of. We didn't participate in those particular
12 patrols, but all the reports we received was that they were able to do it.
13 Q. As far as you know, once the evacuation had been carried out, the
14 Serbs did not embark upon major -- in major conflict with the Muslim men
15 remaining in the mountains?
16 A. As far as I'm aware, no. But I simply don't know, as you know we
17 left some days afterwards. Prior to that we'd heard some small arms fire
18 but nothing that sounded like a major confrontation or conflict.
19 Q. General Smith was present in the Zepa sector, he was at the
20 Ukrainian units's observation point during at least part of the
21 evacuation; is that correct?
22 A. Yeah. On, I think, three occasions, he came as far as OP 2. He
23 never actually went into the village itself.
24 Q. But he knew how this evacuation was being organised?
25 A. Yes, he did.
1 Q. And he didn't have any comments to make as regards the evacuation?
2 A. Not that I recall.
3 Q. You said earlier on that there was a Ukrainian captain who said to
4 you that the Zepa mosque had been destroyed after your departure?
5 A. That's correct, yes.
6 Q. Is it correct that you left together with the Ukrainian forces
7 when you left Zepa?
8 A. My recollection is that we left with some but not all, and I do
9 think that's reflected in the statement as well, that some of them stayed
10 behind. There was a slightly peculiar standoff towards the end, where I
11 think it was Kusic saying, Listen, I've got unfinished business with the
12 Ukrainians so most of you push off and get out of here, but I want to
13 finish off with these guys. So I think when we left, we left with part
14 but not all of the Ukrainian forces.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
20 Q. Mr. Dibb, my name is David Josse and I'm asking questions on
21 behalf of Milan Gvero. I want to begin by asking you some questions about
22 your job with General Smith. Did you, when you were at the residence, see
23 him on a daily basis, assuming he was there of course?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you attend most of the meetings he went to?
1 A. A lot. I mean, the day, the day began with a sort of morning
2 prayers which was a briefing to quite a wide collection of people, which
3 in various, each contingent would have somebody, so I attended that.
4 There was then a smaller meeting afterwards which I attended regularly. I
5 attended most, I would say, of the meetings with the Bosnian Serbs, Emma
6 Bliss would have covered more of the meetings with the Bosnian Muslim
7 government in Sarajevo itself, and meetings with civil affairs people, I
8 would not necessarily have attended.
9 Q. Did Emma Bliss speak or read Serbo-Croat?
10 A. Yes, and no doubt better than me.
11 Q. And she was a British officer?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I would like you to fit Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter into the
14 picture. He was, you've told us, General Smith's military assistant.
15 What did that involve, please?
16 A. He would -- I mean, to some extent he's a sounding board for the
17 general. Somebody he can bounce ideas off. He covered slightly demeaning
18 to the role to say he helped set up meetings. He was -- sorry, he was
19 above that but would have -- would have recommendations and passed stuff
20 down to Captain Bliss and myself. He would often attend meetings with the
21 general, high level meetings, and assist or actually personally do the
22 note taking thereafter for those meetings. Drafting of letters on behalf
23 of the general. And the like.
24 Q. What sort of communication or memoranda were you privy to or
25 perhaps I might be easier for you to answer that the other way around.
1 What were you not privy to by reason of your rank as against General
3 A. I didn't have secret clearance, but I think Captain Bliss may
4 have. Certainly stuff I didn't have access to later on was target lists,
5 for instance, sites that were going to be hit, I didn't have. But
6 otherwise, it was fairly free discussions. So I could -- fairly sure I
7 would have been shown copies of memoranda taken at meetings, certainly
8 with the Bosnian Serb side.
9 Q. And to be precise about your job, you were a liaison officer with
10 the Bosnian Serbs; is that right? Or with both sides to the conflict?
11 A. It's specifically to the Bosnian Serbs, but as I hinted at earlier
12 things got quite difficult communication wise after air strikes in May
13 2000 -- 1995. Part of what I was doing was, again, backwards and forwards
14 in and out of Sarajevo escorting people into town which involved crossing
15 through Bosnian Muslim check-points, so -- which is fairly low level
16 communication that I would be speaking with them to make sure that wheels
17 were oiled so we could get in and out, but I do remember attending one
18 meeting with the general and Izetbegovic. I can't particularly remember
19 what was discussed, and I can't remember why Captain Bliss didn't attend.
20 She may well have been on leave but that was an exception rather than the
22 Q. You've described communications becoming difficult in May of 2005
23 [sic]. Smith and Mladic stopped speaking to one another, didn't they?
24 A. I don't think it's quite as simple as that. It -- from my point
25 of view what changed is I could get through as far as Lukavica barracks,
1 but thereafter it was -- there was no way we are letting you go through to
2 Pale and talk. I'm pretty sure Smith -- well, I know that Smith wanted to
3 speak more with Mladic, and didn't speak as much as he would have wished.
4 My feeling at the time was also the military were very unwilling
5 for us to go and speak to the political side in Pale which is why we kept
6 hitting that wall at Lukavica and were unable to get access. So literally
7 the next time I was physically in Pale was the day of the mortar landing
8 in the marketplace in Sarajevo.
9 Q. Would you say that Smith had a deliberate policy or plan as to how
10 he was going to deal with Mladic in May and June of 1995?
11 A. I'd far rather you ask General Smith that question.
12 Q. Well, I will do but I'd like to know your opinion bearing in mind
13 how closely you worked with them?
14 A. Yeah, I'm sure. He was an extremely bright man as would you hope
15 dealing with an officer of that rank and position, he was an extremely
16 impressive man to work with and for, and I'm perfectly sure that he --
17 yes, he would have had a plan. I'm far from sure I'm entirely aware of
18 what his plan was at that stage.
19 Q. And that's really what I'm coming to. Why wouldn't you have been
20 aware? And I ask you that as someone who has got no military experience.
21 Explain why it is that he wouldn't have conveyed that to you? It may seem
22 a stupid question. And I'm being told to slow down a bit so I'm going to
23 deliberately do that.
24 A. I would say he -- firstly I'm not sure who he actually discussed
25 the plan with in all its details, and he may well have done a lot of that
1 thinking on his own. I would say there was a risk in telling me, in that
2 I spent a fair bit of time backwards and forwards to the -- on to the Serb
3 side. They had in -- sorry, whenever it was, when the bombing took place
4 in May, they -- the BSA had kidnapped, for want of a better word, some of
5 the military observers, chained them to ammunition bunkers. So people
6 were being put under stress, and it's quite possible that why put me in a
7 position where I had anything like that which I may have revealed which he
8 didn't wish to be revealed? But I have to say that is speculation.
9 Q. All right. I'm going to move on slightly. We know that General
10 Smith was on leave from the 1st of July to the 8th of July. He then went
11 to a meeting in Geneva, I think on that date, with the Secretary-General,
12 and he then went back on leave either that day or the following day, I'm
13 not exactly certain, and his leave was eventually aborted on the 11th of
14 July. First of all, do you have any recollection of him going on leave at
15 that time?
16 A. Yeah. I do. In the -- in the very broadest -- in the broadest
17 terms, and I'm aware that the -- towards the end the rapid reaction force
18 started to move up while General Smith was on leave. Yes, I'm aware of
20 Q. I'm going to ask you about the rapid reaction force in a few
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You are moving too fast. If you could first allow a
23 short pause between question and answer because the interpreters have to
24 translate both into French and into Serbo-Croat so --
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So please try to cooperate, as much as you can.
2 Mr. Josse.
3 MR. JOSSE:
4 Q. Mr. Dibb, was there any discussion, and by discussion I mean
5 murmurs of surprise, among the junior officers as to the fact that Smith
6 was away at such a critical time?
7 A. Not that I recall but that's not to say that there wasn't.
8 Q. As best as you can recall, did it cross your mind that this was a
9 surprising time for him to be away, and in particular it was surprising
10 that he wasn't recalled from leave?
11 A. Yes and no. In that as I've said before, he was -- he was no
12 doubt and still is, you know, a brilliant man. He thinks things through,
13 and I had complete confidence in him as a commander. Yes, it did seem to
14 me that your man's on leave and all the stuff is happening, slightly odd.
15 But I was happy that he, whenever he went on leave he took a
16 communications team with him, so he was obviously going to be briefed on
17 what was happening. And he knows the business of soldiering or knew the
18 business of soldiering a lot better than I did.
19 Q. And when you say communications team, he too had some
20 sophisticated communications equipment --
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. -- with him?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yes. Now, I'd like to ask you briefly about your perception of
25 General Smith's relationship with some of the other senior officers that
1 he worked with. Did you have much to do with General Gobillard?
2 A. Personally, no. I met him on a couple of occasions.
3 Q. What language did you communicate with him in?
4 A. Oh, I certainly don't speak French, so I'm not sure if we worked
5 through an interpreter or not. I simply don't remember that detail.
6 Q. Did you ever meet General Janvier?
7 A. Briefly, yes.
8 Q. Same question about communication and language?
9 A. I think Janvier was probably addressed in English, but again I'm
10 not -- I'm simply not certain on that.
11 Q. You've already told us that Janvier was Smith's direct commander?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. To what extent did you see Janvier give orders to Smith?
14 A. Not a lot that I saw but, again, coming back to your earlier
15 question on what was I privy to and what was I not, a Smith-Janvier
16 conversation was definitely not something that I would have been privy to.
17 I'm very confident that they talked and that they had a good relationship.
18 I believe they had come across each other previously in perhaps gulf war
20 Q. Were you aware of any tension between those two men as to whether
21 air strikes should take place and if so to what extent?
22 A. I remember feeling a lot of tension myself on that issue but now,
23 I simply -- I don't.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I was just going to ask for some
1 clarification because air strikes, close air support, had been requested
2 and actually executed on a number of occasions. I didn't know whether
3 that would make a difference to the answer, but he's answered the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's move.
6 MR. JOSSE:
7 Q. And what about General Gobillard? He took charge in that period
8 in early July when General Smith was away, correct?
9 A. He no doubt was given, yeah, given control of matters in Sarajevo
10 at that stage. I don't recall the exact ins and outs of what level of
11 authorisation General Gobillard held vis-a-vis Smith. He was at the end
12 of TACSAT somewhere not too far away.
13 Q. And are you able to help us as to why Gobillard took charge at
14 that point rather than Smith's Chief of Staff Nicolai?
15 A. Not particularly but I have a suspicion Gobillard was the senior
16 officer of the two. He was a two star, was he not?
17 Q. I think that is right, I can help to you that extent. I think the
18 answer --
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. And at that point in time, did you work closely with General
22 A. No, not particularly. In fact, I don't recall getting any direct
23 taskings from General Gobillard at a personal level.
24 Q. Now, I want to turn to some of the matters that you have dealt
25 with in your evidence. When you were in Zepa, did you have any personal
1 conversation with General Smith?
2 A. Not that I recall, but I would say certainly I will have talked to
3 him, without question I will have talked to him when I went up the hill
4 and saw him and the team at the top of the hill.
5 Q. Were you able to communicate with him by means of the
6 sophisticated equipment that you had with you?
7 A. Yes, we could have. I don't think we spoke to him directly and it
8 would probably have been quite unusual to have him at the end of the --
9 personally at the end of it, but if we had said we need to speak to the
10 boss himself, I'm quite sure that would have been possible.
11 Q. Just a little bit on there equipment, you used a word for it
12 earlier which I wasn't familiar with and the stenographer didn't pick up.
13 Could you give that word again slowly please?
14 A. I think it was called a TACSAT, T-A-C-S-A-T.
15 Q. Thank you. If any of the questions I'm about to pose to you, you
16 feel you don't want to answer by reason of security, then certainly for my
17 part, say, and I will almost most certainly move on.
18 We've seen in the document signed by General Miletic that you went
19 to Srebrenica -- I beg your pardon, to Zepa, with two members of the
20 British Special Forces?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. Josse. Madam Fauveau?
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] It was Srebrenica, just to be
24 MR. JOSSE: Yes, thank you very much. I was right the first time.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Go ahead.
2 MR. JOSSE:
3 Q. Were you aware of the presence of any member of the British
4 Special Forces in Srebrenica prior to that time?
5 A. Yeah. There was definitely one of my -- somebody I knew on the
6 language course at Ekensfield [phoen] was attached to a JCO team in
7 Srebrenica and their OP came under direct tank fire during the Srebrenica
9 Q. This was obviously prior to your getting there?
10 A. Yes, it will have been.
11 Q. And other than these -- let he me start again. Do you know how
12 many members of the Special Forces were there at that point?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. And we know, don't we, that the forces who were there were Dutch?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In the most general sense, are you able to help us with what those
17 British forces were doing?
18 A. Observing and reporting back, I would say, in the most general
20 Q. Yes. That will do for my purposes. Do you know, did they have
21 sophisticated radio equipment with them?
22 A. I would have been surprised if they didn't but I don't know.
23 Q. And who would they report back to? Again, general answer. I
24 don't want any operational details.
25 A. They would have reported down the JCO net.
1 Q. And to state the obvious, General Smith was aware they were there?
2 A. I would have thought so but I don't know.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. In fact, yes, he certainly did know they were there, on that,
5 second thought.
6 Q. Well, I am going to ask the next question which is this: Bearing
7 this in mind, why was it that the residence didn't know exactly what was
8 going on in Srebrenica? In the early part of July, the first two weeks of
9 July, shall we say?
10 A. I'm simply not sure what General Smith did or didn't know, to be
12 Q. And you presumably, you didn't go to Geneva with him on the 8th of
13 July for the meeting with the Secretary-General?
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 Q. And you presumably were simply told that he'd gone back on leave
16 and you in no way contributed to that decision?
17 A. Absolutely not.
18 Q. Now, I'd like briefly to turn to Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter,
19 please. Where was he the first two weeks of July, do you know?
20 A. Again, I don't recall. I'm assuming he was in -- still in the
21 residency but I don't remember.
22 Q. And when you went to Zepa, we know he didn't come with you.
23 That's Mr. Baxter I'm talking about, correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And did he go to Zepa with General Smith, any idea?
1 A. I think he did. I think he probably went up to the top of the
2 hill. Is that related in my statement or not? Which --
3 Q. I don't know off-hand. I'll let others check if they would be so
4 kind, and I'll move on.
5 I think you've said, and I'm now moving specifically to Zepa, that
6 you had no specific recollection as to when the French reinforcements
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. But it was after you arrived and you arrived on which date,
11 A. Again, what I have to say on dates is that I'm now going purely by
12 what's written in my earlier statement, which indicates we arrived on the
13 25th. I think that they came after us. But I wouldn't swear blind to it.
14 Q. A few matters, if I may, going back in time. As the liaison
15 officer, you presumably were privy to Serb complaints about the
16 non-demilitarisation of the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves?
17 A. Yes. I mean, that discussions on that were on going and yes, I
18 was aware there were complaints.
19 Q. What did you do about those complaints?
20 A. If the process was that if these complaints were or if -- if I was
21 attending a meeting that was not attended by General Smith or Colonel
22 Baxter, on completion of that meeting, I would go back and have a full and
23 open debrief on what had been discussed. So if a complaint was made to me
24 verbally rather than on a piece of paper, at a meeting, I would have gone
25 back and said, this is the message that's come from the Serb side.
1 Q. Let's have a look at one, if we may. This is 6D163. I
2 understand, Madam Registrar, that there are two documents with that number
3 in e-court.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I would just ask my friend if they
6 could distribute the list of cross-examination documents which we've not
7 received? We received one hard copy document, but we've not received a
8 list yet.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: From none of the Defence teams?
10 MR. THAYER: From a couple of Defence teams. I frankly don't know
11 which Defence teams have cross. We've received three lists -- two lists.
12 MR. JOSSE: It's an error on our part. It's been sent to all the
13 Defence lawyers but not the Prosecution. I'm sorry, it's a pure error and
14 I've got a hard copy here that my learned friend can have, so he's got one
15 to follow. That is an oversight, and I repeat, I apologise.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: If there is any other Defence team that hasn't done
17 that as yet, please, I know that Madam Fauveau last time had indicated
18 that she had already. So -- okay. Let's proceed, Mr. Josse.
19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, it's the one dated the 21st of May. It's not
20 this document. That's it.
21 Q. So this is the first page, Mr. Dibb, and we can see it's a
22 confidential report from Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter of a meeting between
23 General Smith and Dr. Karadzic, 21st of May. And number 1 says they met
24 in hotel near Pale. Could we turn to the second page and to item number
25 4, please?
1 "The eastern enclaves. On the issue of the enclaves, Karadzic
2 maintained the UN had failed to implement any of the previous agreements
3 relating to the eastern enclaves" -- mentions Western Slavonia, but I'll
4 read on. "Karadzic accepted the UN had been a moderating influence
5 especially in the light of the military potential of the enclaves. Again,
6 he asserted he could not respect the safe area mandates as the enclaves
7 were effectively safe havens or the ARBiH. He said he expected the BiH to
8 attempt to break out of one of the enclaves and he expected UNPROFOR to be
9 caught in the cross-fire.
10 The enclaves, he said, are a time bomb about to explode. He
11 maintained the UN should get out, but also that UNHCR would be safe to
12 remain. UNPROFOR presence he stated was welcome, 'Only if the enclaves
13 were demilitarised and become safe areas for civilian population.'"
14 That type of complaint was quite common from the Bosnian Serbs,
15 wasn't it?
16 A. Yes. I would say it was probably an ongoing theme for some of the
18 Q. And my question to you, as the person tasked with liaising with
19 these very people, is what did you do about it?
20 A. Me personally?
21 Q. Yes. You personally, sir.
22 A. I wasn't in a position to make a decision that would influence it
23 so I was simply able to, as I said before, if I received reports that the
24 general hadn't received personally, I would pass them on to the general.
25 Otherwise, it certainly wasn't up to me to make any decision that would
1 demilitarise these enclaves. Likewise, if Smith had a comment back that
2 he -- which I don't recall him having which he didn't wish to convey in
3 person, I would have gone back and dealt with that.
4 Q. To what extent was it your job or position to advise either Smith,
5 Baxter, or indeed Nicolai that this was a complaint of the people you were
6 liaising with and that something needed to be done about it, or do I miss
7 characterise your role?
8 A. I think slightly you do miss characterise it. It -- yes we would
9 advise and again, as I've said before, General Smith was a man who -- he
10 knew where he was going. He was an extraordinary man to deal with in that
11 there were meetings where I -- I would come with a suggestion, and I
12 remember on one occasion, we ended up -- a decision taken was 180 degrees
13 different from the recommendation I'd made, but he still was able to make
14 me feel that the contribution had been relevant.
15 So there was nothing in the command style which discouraged us
16 passing on recommendations, but on something at a level as high as this,
17 when everyone was patently aware of the issues, it certainly wasn't for me
18 to say I think you've got your strategy wrong, sir.
19 Q. You've said that General Smith was a man who knew where he was
20 going. Did you know at that time where he was going and if so, where,
22 A. No, I don't think I knew -- I don't think I did know exactly where
23 he was going.
24 Q. Prior to your arrival in Zepa, were you aware of the terrain in
25 that area?
1 A. In the broadest terms, yes. I mean, it's a --
2 Q. And when you got there, you saw the terrain. Could you describe
3 it to the Trial Chamber, please?
4 A. As with much of central Bosnia, it's very hilly and very wooded.
5 As I mentioned before, a single track leading down to the village itself.
6 A river just outside the village. In saying thickly wooded there are, if
7 I recall correctly, there were areas of more open pasture land as well,
8 areas where cattle would be able to graze.
9 Q. And you have accepted, in the evidence you've given hitherto, that
10 the passage of time clearly affects your memory. It's almost -- it's over
11 12 years since the events that you're describing took place.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And obviously, you quite properly and fairly looked at your
14 witness statement over the last day or two in order to jog your memory; is
15 that right?
16 A. It is right.
17 Q. And you would accept, I suppose, that passage of time can also
18 play tricks on memory?
19 A. Possibly.
20 Q. And let me follow that up by asking you a little bit about the
21 rapid reaction force that you mentioned earlier. Who was the commander of
22 that force?
23 A. I'd say in reality it would probably turn out to be General Smith,
24 but --
25 Q. But he didn't want people to know that he was the commander of it,
1 is that fair?
2 A. I think that probably is fair.
3 Q. And why was that, as far as you could make out at the time?
4 A. Saying is it fair? As, you know, as you've alluded to there was
5 the whole issue of, you know, General Smith being on leave, rapid reaction
6 force, rapid reaction force moving up. I know deputy Chief of Staff
7 Colonel Coiffet was involved in bringing it all forward.
8 As far as -- I'd say as far as I was personally aware, my view
9 was, as I've said earlier, Smith would have been at the end of a
10 communications device, being briefed on exactly what was happening. So he
11 would -- he would certainly have known and again I'm speculating as to
12 what I remembered back then, but I would have been surprised if the force
13 had been employed rather than deployed, without his knowledge.
14 Q. Going back a couple of months to the arrival of the force, I think
15 it was, correct me if I'm wrong, April May of 1995. Do you remember?
16 A. I don't.
17 Q. Were you aware that General Smith was anxious that the rapid
18 reaction force vehicles were not painted white and didn't have UN
20 A. That's simply not a -- it's not a detail that I remember now as to
21 whether or not that was the policy or whether it was his, General Smith's
23 Q. Were you given any instructions as to what if anything to say to
24 the Bosnian Serbs about the rapid reaction force at the time of its
25 arrival in Bosnia?
1 A. Not that I recall.
2 Q. Do you have any recollection of being asked about it by Colonel
3 Indic or any other Bosnian Serb you liaised with?
4 A. I don't remember specifics. I'd be surprised if they weren't
5 asking about it. But I simply don't remember that detail.
6 Q. And in that regard, had General Smith given you any instructions
7 as to what to say to them about the force and/or his, General Smith's
8 involvement in it?
9 A. Not that I'm -- again, not that I recall. And if I can say --
10 Q. Yes of course.
11 A. -- something, as he was the senior military commander in Bosnia,
12 so it shouldn't really have been a surprise to anyone that General Smith
13 was actually the commander of that force. Whether he was the -- he wasn't
14 the unit commander obviously because he was at a higher level in the
15 command structure, but all forces deployed in Bosnia would have come under
16 his control. Otherwise you've got a split command within the theatre,
17 which wouldn't have made a great deal of sense.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try and avoid building an argument in your own
19 mind to try and see into it. It's a question of whether you knew or you
20 didn't know, and in this case, you say that you don't seem to recall. So
21 let's move ahead, Mr. Josse.
22 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
23 Q. You have told us a bit about the Ukrainian Battalion, and you
24 clearly formed a very low impression of that battalion, particularly when
25 they tried to steal your vehicle, correct?
1 A. Steal from the vehicle, yes.
2 Q. From the vehicle, I beg your pardon. But my question is: You
3 clearly formed a very low opinion of them at that point.
4 A. Yes, I did. Before that point, before the stealing of the vehicle
5 issue, it was -- conditions in the camp were way below the standard I
6 would have expected of --
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. -- people who have had time on their hands to keep things tidy.
9 Q. And my question is, were you aware of these problems prior to your
10 arrival in the enclave; in other words, was it something that was said
11 officially or otherwise around the residency about the deficiencies of
12 there particular battalion?
13 A. No, I don't think and I'm not sure if anyone had actually been
14 into Zepa itself to come back and say, crikey, these guys are not quite up
15 to the standard. I think it's fair to say that there was a degree of,
16 call it arrogance, call it whatever you want, that NATO forces would
17 believe that NATO forces are better than others, just as regimental pride
18 takes a part in saying we are better than the other ones, whether based on
19 fact or not.
20 Q. And, for example, when they tried to pilfer from your vehicle, did
21 you challenge any of their officers?
22 A. I don't think we did on that particular occasion, no.
23 Q. And why was that?
24 A. Because it didn't come as a surprise to us.
25 Q. What, that your fellow soldiers were trying to steal from you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. People on your side?
3 A. Yeah, looking at the general condition of the camp, it didn't
4 strike us as -- I mean, yes, it's disappointing but the whole thing was
5 in, as I said, pretty ropey condition. And so it wasn't a surprise that
6 soldiers were -- had such poor discipline, and if you bear in mind the
7 gravity of the situation that we found ourselves in, somebody who got
8 chewed out the back of a Land Rover without taking anything didn't amount
9 to much.
10 Q. Were the Ukrainian Battalion able to provide you with any
11 information about the military operation of the Bosnian Muslim troops
12 within the enclave?
13 A. Yeah, I think they must have been, but I don't remember detail of
15 MR. JOSSE: Could we have a look at 6D81, please?
16 Q. Now, Mr. Dibb, this is the first of a number of documents in
17 B/C/S, as we call it here, that I'm going to show you. This -- most of
18 them I'm glad to say have translations. It's up to you whether you want
19 to look at them in the original or the English translation.
20 This particular document is a document dated the 2nd of July, from
21 a man called Mr. Gusic, chief of communications in the Zepa Brigade, to
22 a -- to the 28th Division chief of communication. Paragraph number 5 says
23 "There is no major problems in work, a minor problem is the fact that we
24 had to move the CV, communications centre, to the hospital basement
25 because of enemy shelling and the quality of transmission is now quite
2 Were you aware of anything like that happening? In other words,
3 that via Bosniak forces had moved their communications centre into a
5 A. I certainly wasn't aware of that, no.
6 Q. No.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Next break, Mr. Josse, is due at 12.30, but if you
8 wish to stop earlier, please let us know.
9 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. I next invite you to have a look at 6D82. This is again in the
11 same language but, in fact, is a Serb document from a Lieutenant-Colonel
12 Kosoric to the -- among other things, the Main Staff, and also to the
13 forward command post of the Drina Corps. And at the bottom of the first
14 page in the English, there is a description which says, "For four days
15 now, the Muslims have been making their presence known." And it lists
16 various weaponry which I'm not going to read out. Perhaps you'd read it
17 to yourself and tell me if you were aware of that sort of weaponry being
18 used and being at the disposal of the Zepa Brigade.
19 A. What I'd say is I don't -- I don't personally, or I don't think I
20 knew or had been briefed on what exactly the Zepa Brigade had with them.
21 That type of weaponry fairly common across Bosnia at the time and in
22 possession of the army of BiH. So I'm afraid that slightly avoids the
23 answer. I can't recall. I don't think I knew specifically they had it.
24 I'm not surprised now to read that.
25 Q. And perhaps my final question before the break is: Were you
1 aware, when you arrived in Zepa, the extent to which there had been heavy
2 fighting between the VRS and the BiH?
3 A. I think we'd been aware of a -- of a buildup, and it's something
4 that -- it's fair to say we'd been expecting, that in the enclaves we're
5 vulnerable throughout and everybody knew that, events happened in
6 Srebrenica, the enclaves were -- yes, I'm sure we were aware that there
7 had been conflict building up to something and no surprise particularly to
8 learn that Zepa had fallen.
9 Q. But specifically, in the days before you arrived, I want to
10 suggest there had been heavy fighting. Did you have any knowledge of
11 that? Did the Ukrainians tell you, for example?
12 A. Again, I simply don't -- I don't recall now. My guess is yes but
13 I simply don't recall.
14 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps we could take the break now, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse, and thank you, Mr. Dibb.
16 We'll have a 20-minute break starting from now.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse. And we'll be finishing at around
20 about 1.30, please.
21 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. You've alluded, Mr. Dibb, to the fact that you were aware, when
23 you were in Zepa, that there was some ongoing fighting even after the
24 departure of the civilians.
25 A. What I recall is that there was small arms fire, which right now I
1 have to say I don't remember if that was the first days while the
2 civilians were there or the period afterwards. Yes, small arms fire,
3 which doesn't necessarily mean it was aimed at anybody.
4 Q. And what you're saying is you can't remember exactly when it was
5 and you recall no more than small arms fire?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. That's a summary of what you just said?
8 A. Correct.
9 MR. JOSSE: Could we have a look at 6D136, please? Could we
10 scroll down this, please? Next page. Number 4 -- number D at the bottom
11 of the page.
12 Q. So this is a sit-rep report of the 30th of July. We see that it
13 says, "Update from Zepa. Four UNMOs remain in the Zepa pocket and have
14 remained -- beg your pardon, and have maintained regular contact with
15 UNMO HQ at Sarajevo." Do you know who those four UNMOs were, please?
16 A. No, I don't.
17 Q. Going on, "A separate report will be released through the MIO net
18 covering the detailed information provided by the team in Zepa. The team
19 are currently located at OP 2 and have been restricted to this location
20 since arrival in the pocket. Team stated that a French delegation entered
21 Zepa town today and have confirmed that UNMO" --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to move to the next page.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. "Equipment is still with UKRCOY, attempts will be made to extract
25 this equipment. 31st July. Team reported hearing intensive shelling on
1 29th of July, 23 explosions, 8 HM G bursts and four to six outgoing mortar
2 rounds but could not confirm firing points and impact areas. Team did not
3 hear any firing activity today." So this relates to the 29th of July
5 A. M'hm.
6 Q. That's more than small arms fire, is it?
7 A. It is, if it's talking about artillery and mortars, yeah.
8 Q. And you had no knowledge of that going on whilst you were in the
9 pocket, correct?
10 A. Certainly not that I remember.
11 Q. Because what I want to suggest, but I think it's fair to say
12 you're unable to comment on this, is that there was heavy fighting still
13 going on in parts of the enclave on the 29th of July, well after the
14 civilians had departed.
15 A. It's, as you say, it's possible, but I am unable to confirm that.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Dibb, you've given evidence about your recollection that
17 you had become aware by this time of the events in Srebrenica, and you
18 have gone on to say that you thought that the civilian population of Zepa
19 was so aware.
20 At the time, who had you discussed that with?
21 A. Again, no recollection. If I was aware, it would have been
22 because it was coming through in a much higher channel than myself and had
23 passed down to me rather than from me to pass up.
24 Q. You say if I was aware. Why do you use the word "if," please?
25 A. Again, I don't remember specifically the day that I did become
1 aware of these incidents. In my recollection is that I was aware of it
2 prior to deploying to Zepa. I'm pretty certain that I was aware of it
3 prior to deploying to Zepa, and that -- it was part of my understanding of
4 the whole rationale for being sent there was because something had gone
5 wrong in Srebrenica, and it was to prevent that happening in Zepa.
6 Q. Did you have any briefing on the subject with General Smith or
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter?
8 A. Again, simply don't remember.
9 Q. When you returned to Sarajevo, I think you gave a briefing on what
10 you had seen on the 3rd of August at the BH command?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you mention the state of knowledge as to what had happened to
13 the men of Srebrenica in the course of that briefing?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Are there any notes of that briefing available?
16 A. Probably not. I would guess it was going in and giving a verbal
17 brief after the event.
18 Q. Going back to the time you were in the enclave, did you discuss
19 this issue with Ed Joseph?
20 A. I simply don't remember.
21 Q. You were working closely alongside him, correct?
22 A. Yes and no. I would say that Ed and Viktor were to some extent
23 running things, and I was doing much more down in the weeds making sure
24 things went right, getting people on to vehicles. Yes we would have had
25 discussions on any relevant issues.
1 Q. It's inconceivable, isn't it, that you would have known about the
2 fate of the men in Srebrenica and that he, Ed Joseph, would not have
3 known. Would you agree with that proposition?
4 A. Probably.
5 Q. I want to suggest that you're perhaps mistaken about this and that
6 passage of time, memory has played tricks, and there was no clear
7 information at that time as to what had happened to these unfortunate men
8 in Srebrenica.
9 A. If you've got documents to show it, perhaps that is the case. If
10 there was no clear information, that suggests there was still suspicion
11 that something had happened, and it may well be that there was a suspicion
12 that something had happened, but I am very clear that the decision to send
13 a different team to Zepa was because there was either knowledge or
14 suspicion that something had happened.
15 Q. Were you aware at the time as to the extent to which the men of
16 Srebrenica featured in the discussions either at a local level, that is
17 between Torlak -- who I think whose name has not been mentioned, but he
18 was a local civilian leader and Mladic, or at the national level, between
19 Izetbegovic, Muratovic, and the Bosnian Serb leadership?
20 A. It's again back to the exact timing of it, it's certainly, as we
21 all know, became an issue that was talked about. Right now, I can't say
22 whether it was an Izetbegovic-Muratovic issue to Smith.
23 Q. It certainly became an issue and that's why we're all here.
24 A. Exactly.
25 Q. But the question is what you knew at the time, and well, you've
1 heard my suggestion and I'll move on.
2 The next issue I'd like to ask you about, please, relates to
3 the -- both the looting and some of the destruction that you saw. You've
4 described successful efforts by VRS officers to prevent their troops
5 entering the enclave until the civilians had been evacuated?
6 A. Yes, I agree.
7 Q. And you've described thereafter seeing troops enter and loot and
8 set fire to some buildings?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. There are a few documents I'd like to show you in this regard.
11 And I mention this both to you and to the learned judges. Your Honour,
12 the position is this, these documents that I'm about to show have not been
13 translated. I'm not clear whether the witness is in a position to read
14 the small extracts that I would like to ask him about, aloud, so that they
15 can be translated but if the witness is unable -- I was going to come up
16 with another suggestion but --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Finish first.
18 MR. JOSSE: But if the witness is unable to do that what we were
19 going to suggest on behalf of General Gvero is that my legal assistant was
20 going to read out those relevant passages and they could then be
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
23 MR. THAYER: Perhaps we have a third suggestion. I was just
24 handed a copy of this, this wasn't on the list a little while ago, I don't
25 know if it's possible give a copy to the Court interpreters so that they
1 can read it directly rather than have yet another level involved here.
2 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. They've been give and copy in fact but
3 I --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Still, I don't suppose the entire documents are
5 going to be read. I would imagine that parts --
6 MR. JOSSE: That's right. I would have thought bits are going to
7 have to be read out.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think your first suggestion to have your legal
9 assistant read out the relevant parts would be perfect for our purposes.
10 MR. JOSSE: Could the document be placed on the ELMO to begin
11 with, please? And I'm also going to give the witness a hard copy.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse, you said they have not yet been
13 translated but are they in e-court?
14 MR. JOSSE: This one is not in e-court. The other one I'm going
15 to refer to is in e-court.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. One moment, Mr. Josse, because we still
17 need to have the ELMO adjusted.
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. Mr. Dibb, perhaps --?
20 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, may I go on because I'm just going to
21 deal with the background of the document. The witness has a hard copy
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. This is an order, isn't it, Mr. Dibb, we see the word "order"
1 about eight lines down on the first page, that purports to come from
2 General Mladic, it's dated the 30th of July of 1995, and it looks in the
3 right-hand corner, handwritten, that he's sending it to the command of the
4 Drina Corps. Do you agree with what I've just said?
5 A. If you just give me a minute to look through it. Okay. I'd
6 definitely like to see or have translated more of it, but in general
7 terms, yes, fire away.
8 Q. We are going to do that.
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Would you also agree that immediately before the word "order,"
11 which is the word spelled N-A-R-E-D-J-U-J-E-M, is the preamble that really
12 says that this sets out the responsibility of certain units of the VRS
13 during the -- a declared state of war and it cites various ordinances?
14 A. Can we get that preamble read out to me, please?
15 Q. Let's start with that, please. Could that be done, please, Your
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
18 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "Pursuant to Article 175 of the
19 law on the army and the decision of the president of the republic on the
20 proclamation of the state of war, number 01-1473/95 dated 28th July 1995,
21 with a view to ensuring conditions for the full and complete execution of
22 combat tasks of the army units, I hereby order the following."
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. And then moving on from the preamble it's item 6 which is the
25 bottom of that first page, and then item 7 in due course on the top of the
1 following page that I'd like to draw your attention to, and I'm going to
2 ask to be read out, please.
3 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "We forbid that any materiel be
4 taken from the war zone irrespective of its ownership and origin without
5 special approval of the logistics organ of the corps commands.
6 "Especially from the areas from which the civilian population had
7 moved out and been evacuated. The material goods that are attempted to be
8 taken out from the zone of war without a special approval of the logistics
9 organs of the corps commands shall be seized immediately and handed over
10 for safekeeping at locations identified by corps commands in cooperation
11 with the War Presidency of the municipalities.
12 "As for the seized property, their certificates will be issued on
13 these goods. The goods and people in transit should be inspected. In
14 case of suspicious goods, persons from which these goods have been seized,
15 should be issued a certificate on the temporarily seized goods.
16 "Article 7, in the war zones, the collected cattle should not be
17 slaughtered and misappropriated in any way. The command of the army
18 units, in cooperation with the War Presidencies of the municipalities,
19 will collect the abandoned cattle and other material goods. In the
20 municipalities from which the civilian population has been moved out or
21 evacuated, the cattle will be fed in an organised manner and all the
22 material goods will be protected.
23 "Article 18, the last page of the document" --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Article 18 or 8?
25 MR. JOSSE: It's 18, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we have to move a few further pages.
2 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "If anybody fails to carry out
3 orders as per this decision, they will be prosecuted before a competent
4 military court."
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
6 MR. JOSSE:
7 Q. Mr. Dibb, would you agree that what you've just heard purports to
8 be an order not do exactly what you saw?
9 A. Yes. It does -- it implies that -- it would be quite nice to see
10 it in English written but that cattle and things are to be collected and
11 looked after. I guess my question on it would be what happened to
12 everything once it left?
13 Q. Well, what you've described doesn't accord with this document;
14 that's right, isn't it?
15 A. What I saw was stuff being put into vehicles and driven out of
16 town, furniture, electrical appliances, and live stock and, yeah, there is
17 absolutely no question at all that that occurred.
18 Q. Yes. Before I conclude, I'd like to invite you also to have a
19 look at some extracts from the diary or log of another witness in this
20 case. His name was Colonel Trivic. Did you come across him?
21 A. Doesn't ring a bell.
22 Q. He was the commander of the Romanija Brigade, and he also was
23 present at various times in Zepa and was engaged in action there. This is
24 a harder document still because it's handwritten document in Cyrillic
1 MR. JOSSE: It's 2D125, Your Honour. What has happened is, I
2 understand, that parts of it are in evidence and those parts have been
4 Unfortunately, the bits that I wish to refer to have not been
5 translated, whether they are technically in evidence or not perhaps
6 doesn't matter. And the first page, please, is page 62 of that document.
7 And this is an extract, I know it's not quite up yet, dated the 26th of
8 July. Excuse me a moment. I'm going to ask Mr. Sladojevic to read a
9 short part of this, please.
10 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "I absolutely forbid the setting
11 fire to houses." This paragraph has an exclamation mark beside it.
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. Can you confirm that, I don't want to embarrass you, but is your
14 language good enough?
15 A. From the translation, my reading of Cyrillic handwritten is pretty
16 shabby, [Interpretation] "Most strictly forbidden." [In English] I'm
17 happy with that, yeah. It might say that but it didn't stop houses being
19 Q. At what point was that that the houses were burned?
20 A. Within the town itself, I would probably say from the day that
21 people -- that the last people left. I remember walking down to the
22 bridge and feeling the heat coming off the houses that had been burnt as I
23 walked down the road. I also remember sitting there and asking the troops
24 why this had happened or why they had done it, to which, you know, one --
25 you could hear the fire crackling away and the wood popping, as it does,
1 and one of them saying, well, listen -- listen to that pop, you can hear
2 there are mines in the house which was complete nonsense. And somebody
3 else was -- well, the pop, the popping certainly wasn't a mine going off.
4 And somebody else saying, well we burnt it because the fighting is over.
5 And you know, it -- it happened and there is no -- absolutely no doubt in
6 my mind.
7 Q. All right. Let's look at the next extract, please, which is on
8 page 65, same date, apparently.
9 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "9.45 hours, the order of the
10 command of the Drina Corps that he strictly forbids the burning of houses,
11 responsible are the brigade Commanders."
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. So again on the face of it, that order was disobeyed?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the final extract, please, is on the following page and I
16 think the following day, page 66, 27th of July. This is towards the
17 bottom of the page, I understand.
18 MR. SLADOJEVIC: [Interpretation] "At 1030 hours, the setting fire
19 of houses and marking the line of the brigade."
20 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I don't actually understand that. Was he
21 saying that was happening or --
22 MR. JOSSE:
23 Q. We are stuck with what it says there and what the translation is,
24 but what I'd like to ask you is whether the setting fire of certain items
25 featured as part of a military tactic by either side to the battle?
1 A. Can I ask for a clarification of what you mean by certain items?
2 Q. Well, anything.
3 A. A house?
4 Q. A house.
5 A. It's -- it was quite -- as we all know, it was fairly common
6 practice that villages would be left burnt to the ground or certain houses
7 were left burnt to the ground. In this instance, and again I stray, I'd
8 say my military assessment was there was absolutely no tactical reason to
9 burn the houses. The question then comes, was there a strategic reason or
10 was it down to sheer indiscipline? But there was no tactical benefit that
11 I could see in burning those houses.
12 Q. What's the difference between tactical and strategic?
13 A. Tactical would be to win that particular battle, shall we say.
14 The taking of Zepa, Zepa was taken, it wasn't as if burning that house
15 would have given them a field of fire, for instance, forward to suppress
16 an enemy there or whatever. Whereas strategic would be, you know, for
17 instance, let's leave the place impossible for people to return to.
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Now, I, you know, I can't see a tactical reason. I simply don't
20 know if there was a strategic reason. The documents we've seen before
21 clearly indicate there are orders that these things shouldn't happen. But
22 they did.
23 Q. Did you get any sense that there might be some sort of scorched
24 earth policy going on in relation to the retreating Bosniaks?
25 A. Across the country or in Zepa?
1 Q. Well in Zepa, but if your experiences across the country help you,
2 then tell the Trial Chamber.
3 A. Probably varied from place to place, and in some and I would say
4 to an extent on all sides, villages were razed. What I'm not able to say
5 is was that a command that came down from, say, a General Mladic level or
6 was it down to a local commander's level? It certainly -- it wasn't
7 unusual to find villages that were completely smashed and that some of
8 that damage had occurred afterwards.
9 What I also seem to have in the back of my mind is that there was
10 talk about rehousing displaced Bosnian Serbs back into villages, and
11 following through the logic on that, it wouldn't make a great deal of
12 sense to burn the whole of Zepa if there was a plan to put other displaced
13 people into it.
14 Q. And would that perhaps be a reason for the retreating Bosniaks to
15 torch their own property knowing that they were going to have to abandon
16 it? Any sense of that?
17 A. My view, it's absolutely inconceivable that that was happening.
18 Q. Why?
19 A. Because by the time it started happening, it was houses within the
20 town that were being burnt, and the Bosnian Serb forces plus Greek
21 mercenaries and others were in the town. I just -- it's inconceivable to
22 me that there were at that stage Bosnian fighters in town setting fires to
24 Q. What about in the hills?
25 A. In the hills, it's statistically possible. I'm -- the only
1 occasion in my own experience of people leaving burning their houses was
2 Serb population leaving Sarajevo sometime later, and houses on the hill
3 were on fire then. So it happened. General Baxter, Colonel Baxter's
4 report indicated that, but my view is that it unlikely and that I would
5 have thought when the fighting was coming in, troops attacking the
6 village, if the men were -- they would have got the hell out of there.
7 They wouldn't have sat around and burned things and slightly adding,
8 adding to that is the fact that the -- we first arrived in Zepa, there
9 were -- and I think I said earlier, 50 to 80 people in the town and it was
10 over the next few days that people started coming in.
11 Again, here speculation, were they coming in from their houses or
12 were they coming in from the forest? I simply don't know. And some of
13 the earlier buildings that were on fire, we saw in the first day. But the
14 ones within Zepa itself, I'm absolutely convinced was done by Bosnian Serb
16 Q. And just this in relation to that last extract, could this be a
17 reference to the retreating Zepa Brigade setting fire to houses as they
18 try to disappear in the opposite direction? Would there be any strategic
19 or tactical purpose in that?
20 A. Can we just read it again, please?
21 Q. Yes. I'm going to read what the translation says, I've got it in
22 front of me. It says, "1030 hours the setting fire of houses and marking,
23 the line of the brigade"?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes piling in by setting fire
25 to the houses, maybe.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Thank you. Did you get that Mr. Dibb, and the helpful remark from
4 A. So marking the line of the brigade by setting fire to houses?
5 Q. Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
7 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, first of all if there is a foundation to
8 be laid, and I'm frankly not sure if there is because I don't have this
9 document here, we were just notified that they were going to use it a few
10 minutes ago. But if there is a foundation to be laid about, first of all
11 whose brigade we're talking about? We don't even know from my learned
12 friend's question what we're talking about, whether we're talking about
13 Serb forces or Bosnian forces. I think to go further on this point is
14 just inviting more speculation.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
16 MR. JOSSE: I'll move on, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
18 MR. JOSSE: May I have a moment? We've got nothing else. Thank
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse. Now, can I have a resume of
21 where we stand with the other Defence teams? Mr. Zivanovic, you had
22 required -- you had requested 15 minutes. Do you still need them?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, Your Honours I'll not cross-examine this
24 witness, thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Madam Nikolic, you had requested
1 15 minutes. Will you be cross-examining this witness?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
3 questions for this witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And thank you. Mr. Stojanovic, you had requested
5 ten minutes.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. And we inform
7 the Court that I won't have any questions for this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
9 And Mr. Ostojic, you needed 30 minutes?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Mr. President, approximately.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We've got seven minutes. Let's start.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay, thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
14 Q. Mr. Dibb, my name is John Ostojic. I represent Mr. Ljubisa Beara.
15 Sir, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions. In particular, I just
16 want to clarify, and maybe you could specify for me, when you were in
17 Tuzla in July of 1995, I think you said you were there on the 14th; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yeah, I have a clear recollect -- recollection of being there on
20 Bastille Day.
21 Q. Okay. And were you there for until the 16th; is that correct,
22 because I wasn't sure with your answer?
23 A. Neither am I. I think I'm pretty certain the trip to Kladanj had
24 to be on a different day so 15, 16th, I would guess.
25 Q. Now, help me understand your relationship with the civil affairs
1 officer or that unit or department. Did you exchange information between
2 various civil affairs officers such as Edward Joseph?
3 A. He wasn't in my direct reporting line.
4 Q. I realise that but --
5 A. So likewise, I wouldn't -- I don't think, deliberately keep things
6 from him, but I would be reporting up through Smith's office and what
7 disseminated down wouldn't necessarily be me giving him a face-to-face
8 direct briefing, but it was -- it was a reasonably close team within BHC.
9 Q. And you were with Mr. Joseph together in Zepa, correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And just give me the dates again roughly, was it July 20th or 25th
13 A. In Zepa?
14 Q. Correct.
15 A. Again working off my previous statement, 25th to the 2nd of
17 Q. During that entire time, Mr. Joseph was there with you basically?
18 A. What I don't recall is when he left, and I'm not sure if he stayed
19 on after the last civilians left.
20 Q. Well, do you remember seeing Mr. Joseph on the 14th of July in
21 Tuzla at all?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please pause between answer
23 and question? Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: I don't remember.
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. You mentioned in your direct examination that you received
2 information about the massacre in Srebrenica. Can you share with us from
3 whom did you receive that information?
4 A. Not sure at all where we first heard that.
5 Q. Okay. Who is the we? I'm only asking you, actually.
6 A. Well, we in general HQ UNPROFOR, but me personally, no, I don't
7 remember where the first -- where the first report came from.
8 Q. Did you ever learn from Mr. Joseph that as early as the 17th of
9 July, that men, Bosnian Muslims, who were fleeing Srebrenica, arrived in
10 Tuzla after a week long ordeal?
11 A. It's difficult to say for certain. Again, I'm aware that people,
12 some people, did get through.
13 Q. And from whom did you obtain that awareness?
14 A. Again, no idea.
15 Q. And when did you obtain it?
16 A. Again not sure.
17 Q. Okay. Do you know if Mr. Joseph ever shared with you that some of
18 the men from the Srebrenica area arrived and that the UNMOs, the civil
19 affairs, and others have reported and described that there were 5.000 to
20 6.000 who crossed over to the BiH second command?
21 A. I don't recall that but that sort of information would have been
22 passed out more -- it would have been passed out the morning prayers.
23 Q. And when you say morning prayers, those are your early morning
24 briefing sessions would that be accurate?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. For lack of a better description?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know if General Smith was aware of that?
4 A. I don't know, no.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I apologise.
7 Q. Do you know, was -- is this information that would be deemed
8 necessary and critical for him to make any decisions relating to the
9 actual war that was happening, that he'd be provided with that
11 A. In my opinion, yes.
12 Q. Okay. And in fact, the opposite of that, if he's not provided
13 that information, it could lead to disinformation, wouldn't you agree?
14 A. Yeah, it would have made his job more difficult, more difficult to
15 make an informed decisions.
16 Q. Well, help me with this, if you can, who is your counterpart if
17 any, that was dealing with the ABiH?
18 A. Captain Bliss.
19 Q. And do you know to what extent Captain Bliss was trying to obtain
20 information as to the whereabouts or the status of the Bosnian men from
22 A. I'm not aware.
23 Q. Help me with this cable issue. When various Divisions or units
24 were sending cables to either Sarajevo or Zagreb, would you and General
25 Smith be routinely copied on those?
1 A. Sorry, cables originating from?
2 Q. Let's say the civil affairs office, or the senior civil affairs
3 officer, Ken Biser, for example?
4 A. I don't think I would necessarily have seen or -- I know I
5 wouldn't have seen all of them, definitely not.
6 Q. Well --
7 A. General Smith would have seen some, but I imagine that the volume
8 of traffic would have been such he would not have seen them all. But I'm
9 speculating on that again.
10 Q. But in any event the crucial thing for a general such as General
11 Smith who is commanding this is not necessarily that he see the actual
12 cable, but he at the very least be informed of it; would I be right?
13 A. That he be informed of?
14 Q. The contents.
15 A. The contents? Yes.
16 Q. Let me show you quickly now this document, which is from the 17th
17 of July 1995. With the Court's permission and the assistance of the
18 usher, and we do have a number. It is 1D00374, if that could be brought
19 up on the e-court. Just in the minute or two that we have left, may I ask
20 just this one question or do you want to quit?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: How long is it going to take you?
22 MR. OSTOJIC: To ask the question, 15 seconds.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes go ahead and we finish there.
24 MR. OSTOJIC:
25 Q. Just describe for me the cover sheet, Mr. Dibb, if you will.
1 A. Cover sheet of this, it's United Nations headed paper, appears to
2 be a document that would have been faxed, though I don't see the fax
3 transmission number shown on it, from Ken Biser.
4 Q. Who drafted it? It's right above his name, two lines?
5 A. Sorry, where are we?
6 Q. Where you read Ken Biser.
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Edward Joseph, but in any event who on this list - just this last
9 question - who on this list of individuals would have informed General
10 Smith of the important or relevant documents contained on this most
11 immediate and restricted outgoing fax?
12 A. I mean what -- I'd like to read the whole thing at slower time if
13 that's possible.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's leave it until tomorrow, Mr. Ostojic.
15 Mr. Dibb, we are adjourning. We'll have continuation of your
16 testimony tomorrow morning. Mr. McCloskey, please make sure that the
17 previous witness will be present tomorrow for the continuation of his
18 testimony. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
19 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, we've already made those arrangements.
20 May I raise one very, very quick issue?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Very quick.
22 MR. THAYER: The Court has ordered us to provide certain
23 information concerning the remainder of the Prosecution's case.
24 Logistically, we are still trying to contact some witnesses to give the
25 Court the most realistic view of what the schedule is going to look like.
1 We would ask respectfully for another day to complete that
2 project. I've canvassed as many of my friends as I could and there is no
3 objection to my request.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Dibb, you're not to communicate with anyone on
7 the subject matter of your testimony between now and when you continue and
8 finish tomorrow.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.32 p.m.,
12 to be resumed on Tuesday, the 16th day of October,
13 2007, at 9.00 a.m.